How do you stay inspired? What motivates you? What happens if you get a creative block?
These were questions that arose during one of my afternoon art classes at uni. I wrote this post initially for the blog that I keep for my students, but really…isn’t inspiration needed everywhere? (so I’m doing some rewriting of it and additions to my original for my students)
Creative blocks. Boy, oh boy! Do we all have them?! (lucky be they who don’t have artistic blocks). What could be worse than being so excited to sit down and get to work. Get your coffee made. Get your pencils and/or paint out. Grab that paper and canvas and then…….nothing.
So how do you get out of a creative block? How do you find your muse? There are SO MANY ways to do this and luckily our society today has tons of info at our finger tips. As ever, it’s up to us to curate what works and doesn’t work for us.
Just a side note…when this happens to me, I LOVE to sit down with magazines and cut out that which (visually) I like. Or I sketch. Or visit an art gallery. Or do a 1/2 day trip to D.C. to just change my scenery. And run and take walks. I read voraciously…and about anything: biographies, sci/fi, fiction, nonfiction, biology…anything goes! Because who knows where it’ll crop up in my work 1 year, 4, 5, 10 years from now. I also LOVE art supplies (like…almost obsessively) so I will pick out a new marker (ok, or 5) to work with and experiment with. Or to find some cool paper that I haven’t seen or worked with before. And the BIGGEST thing I do…is I allow myself to FAIL. Ok, so that one didn’t turn out so well…that’s ok! Grab the next sheet of paper (or open up that new document in Illustrator/Photoshop/InDesign etc) and do another. And ANOTHER. Some will be rockin’…some may not be…it’s OK! Take the time to PLAY!!! (check out Jessica Walsh’s stance on PLAY and about her design process).
Here are some links that help me with motivation/inspiration::
I typically show this in all of my classes (informally) at the start of the term, but maybe now it would be a good time to review these 2 videos by Frannerd.
Her video on MOTIVIATION is HERE!
Her video on BEST ADVICE EVER is HERE!
Her video about HOW TO STAY ORGANIZED is HERE! (I get a lot of questions about this…so if you don’t have your “system” yet…check this one out. She also gives TONS of resources from other vloggers.
2. Being Boss Podcast
Frannerd mentioned this in her vlog and I concur…it’s a GREAT spot for motivation/inspiration. Link to BLOG/PODCAST HERE!
3. Debbie Millman Podcast
Design Matters. Millman hosts leaders and movers/shakers in the design world and interviews them. I mean..seriously!..how could these interviews not inspire?! They’re the creme de la creme of our design lives. Link to PODCAST HERE!
4. Tips on finding Inspiration::
5. RaiseYour Hand Say Yes Podcast
I love Tiffany Han and her podcast. Generic take away? Say yes! And be ok to fail. And also, be ok with saying no so you CAN say yes. What a great lesson for anyone in the creative field. Her interviews are awesome and inspiring to work along with in the studio. I love her tag line…A podcast about the creative adventures of (extra)ordinary people. Link to her episodes here.
6. Art for Your Ear
The Jealous Curator. Danielle Krysa. Artist interviews. Welcome to Art for Your Ear podcast. Let’s chock this up to a helluva giant YES PLEASE. I stumbled on The Jealous Curator blog while in a soul sucking job once upon a time ago. When I’d get my down in the dumps about the world stage of the day (we all get them at office jobs, am I right?!) I’d mosey on over to her blog and binge on beauty. As well as an amazing podcast AND blog, Krysa writes some awesome books (get the one called Creative Block since it’s PERFECT if you’re in a block). Her newest one Your Inner Critique is a Big Jerk is an amazing read so you have my full permission to treat yourself to that book as well (I’ll never say no to a book, heads up!) Every time a new episode comes out I feel angry if I have to do something else at that time. So I’ve learned to set aside my Monday mornings to listen to these. Coffee. Check. An hour-ish podcast full of awesome? Check. Mondays are great thanks to this podcast. And if you’re in the studio, it’s a great podcast to binge listen to as you work (I often find myself relistening to past episodes I’ve enjoyed). And true to her tag line…damn I wish I thought of that.
And there are GLOBS more articles on this subject…these are just a few to get you started. Read, read, read! Work through it! Find a new process! Get outside and take walk/run/swim/hike. Grab your camera and take photos of a trip of your town. Grab a notebook and list anything you want to list. Walk the mall. Set a timer. Visit a museum. Go to the library and look at (*gasp!*) analog (haha) design (ie: magazines and books). Buy a planner. Find your system. Life has its ups and downs and we need to find our system of dealing with the creative block.
Be like Nike. Just do it!