Are you in a creative rut? Artist dry spell- You’re not alone!
You’ve hit a brick wall and what you love to do you now resist – How can you regain your inspiration?
All artists and designers go through dry periods. The first time it happens it can be upsetting. What use to come so easily to you now takes effort. And sometimes this effort leads to nothing.
You stare and the blank canvas or paper (and for digital designers – the computer screen) and see nothing. You look at your files of inspiration and everything comes back flat and blank. It’s as if you don’t care. You lost your energy and drive to see something new and fresh. Your frustrated, you feel like giving up. You question if you ever were an artist or designer. And since you can’t come up with any visuals, you may even beat yourself up mentally. “I never was any good at this”.
Your up the creek. What’s next?
It’s an awful feeling. Especially when you’ve experienced the high of instant ideas and visuals and create new, fresh and dynamic art and images on a whim.
Not all of a sudden it seems you can’t.
So what do you do?
Give up and believe the negative self talk.
Try harder, bang your head on the desk.
Stay up night and day worrying about it.
Give yourself a break and a time out.
Have you ever done this?
You know the ideas aren’t flowing but you keep trying. Half heartily you sketch out the preliminary for your design or art piece (hoping for magic). Your paper (or computer screen) has random visuals (maybe even a sad face sketch or a few choice obscenities), but you know it’s not working. There isn’t that excited feeling that “yeah, this is it”, there is only the dread that “this isn’t working”. So you try harder and try to force it. It only get’s worse.
Back to square one, you beat yourself up for not coming up with something better.
Give it up. Yes, let it go. Move on to something else.
But “I have a deadline I have to get this done”, or “I have this great idea and I know if I keep working… it will appear”.
But it doesn’t. It’s strange, but when you hit the brick wall, you can’t force the creativity and the energy that comes along with creating art or design. You have to let it go.
But don’t worry, it will come back.
First things first.
Walk away from it, walk away from the fact it’s just not working out. Be at peace with it and shelf it.
Now granted if you’re under a deadline it’s not easy but you still have to do it.
You’ve heard the phrase “if you love something let it go, if it’s yours it will come back to you…” so the story goes.
Put it out of your mind.
When your under pressure to create something and your stressed or not finding the creative vibe that you need RIGHT NOW… switch gears.
Sometimes switching gears can be as simple as:
Your overwhelmed – take a nap. Something about being unconscious (in a good way) refreshes the spirit. The exhaustion that come come from creating or trying to, sometimes needs a nap.
You need a change of scenery – get outside. Find a quiet spot in nature to help you get back into the creative zone.
You need exercise. It’s amazing when you get out of your creative space/studio/office how much better you can think. Take time for your body, nourish your spirit.
Also when your stressed you carry it physically. Work it off.
Avoid unhealthy food. Too much sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol; can zap your energy. Be aware of what you put in.
Music: Focus your senses on other things such as music or whatever makes you happy.
Don’t think about the creative block. As you let it go and focus your attention on not trying so hard… what is already inside you will appear. Believe it, give it time, give yourself time and you will find your creative vibe again.