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When inspiration dries up….

Getting the creative juices flowing again

A question many artists get asked is “What do you do when you lose inspiration?,” so I thought I would give a few of my personal tips on this subject. 

If you are a creative person, it is inevitable that you will encounter your own version of “writers’ block” at some point. The ideas are just not forthcoming, and motivation seems to be at an all-time low. So… in these situations we need a back-up:

  • Make lists I have now built up a big enough collection of work that I have a number of different genres and series to keep adding to. When I am working on one series, and I am fully in-the-zone,  I need to make a list of all the hundreds of ideas that come into my head. As no doubt, I will forget them later. 
  • Create a seasonal calendar.  This is very handy. October may have barely started, but I have just finished a Christmas painting. By the time it has been photographed and manufactured into greeting cards, it will hit the shelves just in time for the annual rush.  The same applies for so many stages of the year. We need to promote our brollies at the end of summer, our dancer cards at the end of term, and Spanish landscapes during the summer months.  
Soon to be added to the card collection “Gulosity” from the archaic noun meaning greed or gluttony. This picture progresses from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day.
  • Speak to family and friends. Sometimes all you need is a pair of fresh eyes. You can be staring at a canvas, feeling like you want to do something, but nothing is coming into your head; then a friend makes a casual suggestion and it snowballs into something really good. 
  • Take a break. Okay – so if I were to be honest, this is probably the top of my list, but for fear of sounding lazy I placed it all the way down here! It IS true though! Walk away! Go shopping, phone a friend, be creative in other ways. RELAX! If you over-think something it will inevitably not turn out the way you want it to. Let the experience be organic. Don’t forget that artists run on a different timescale. When you are in the right mood, time stands still and you can find yourself painting well into the small hours – it’s all about balance. 

Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive, and you may have some of your own techniques to add. I hope this works for you, as it seems to for me!