The first and most fundamental question any art theorist or enthusiast should ask is, why do people create? What motivates them to produce art? This holds true for all forms of visual art.
Whether it's traditional or contemporary, humans have been creating works of art since the dawn of time. Just a visit to an art gallery or museum can show you how diverse this world truly is.
Like any other artist I always struggle trying to keep motivated and inspired, especially since covid. But if you can find the right techniques and rituals that help you stay on your path you will continue to thrive as a creative.
Below I've shared some tips that I know helps me when ever I get creative blocks. I hope these tips can help you find your way too.
I've noticed since Ive changed my lifestyle and have started connecting back with my spirituality & learning to slow down my creative abilities have sawed. Taking the time to slow down, whether it's for 10 minutes to meditate, taking time in the morning to be with yourself and do self care or going for a walk, really helps with clearing your mind, creating a new perspective and boosts .... I always dedicate a time in my day to be present with myself.
Practice doing activities that force you to slow down such as reading a book or doing yoga. And I know what you're thinking, I once thought the same thing. I thought theres no way you'll catch me sitting still for more than 5 minutes making silly humming or breathing noises and absurd poses. And just as I was told I'm going to tell you the same thing! don't knock it until you try it! seriously life changing...
So please do yourself a favour and put the brakes on for a second, I know its obvious and can be hard as a creative trying to slow down with a million things whizzing around in your head. But the sooner you learn to do so the more productive you'll become. I promise!
Collect Inspo from everything:
It could be as simple as noticing the beautiful flowers or plants while out on an evening stroll, watching how the scenes or storylines playout in a film or music video, reading a magazine, book or simply taking inspiration from other artists. Whatever it may be, take it and pin it up on your mood board or store it in the overflowing file in your brain, because you just may need it.
I like to think of my mind as a file. Im constantly storing ideas, anything that inspires me I put in my folder. And of course I have a real folder or should I say thousands of folders, journals and notebooks filled with years worth of ideas. For as long as I can remember I've always collected things that inspired me or I liked. from trinkets, pages ripped out of magazines, thousands of photos, bits of materials, to dried flowers and plants, anything, i can guaranteed ive got it glued in one of my scrap books or pinned up on one of my mood boards.
My grandmother would call me Bower Bird because as a child I was always collecting something.
Obviously I'm a visual person at heart. When I'm creating I like to have visual references and surround myself with things that inspire me.
One of the best tools I use as a creative are mood boards. Mood boards are a great tool to express ideas, see clearly what your goals are or perfect for planning out projects. I love to create them for my clients to help them understand exactly what they're looking for.
My favourite app to create mood boards on is Good Notes. Good Notes is also great for taking aesthetically quick notes if you're a student and dont want the paper trail.
Create a space you enjoy:
I'm a huge believer that what and who you surround yourself with is going to have a profound effect you both as a person and creatively. If you're a visual person like myself then It's probably important to surround yourself with things that you enjoy, make you feel at peace and that inspire you. Which is why I'm also a huge lover of Interior design and Architecture.
fun fact: I was actually going to study Interior design when I graduated from school, long story short, some things led me elsewhere but now its something I'm certain of pursuing once I've decided its time to move on form the arts. I would love to see more First Nation peoples within the creative/arts industry.
I'd Strongly suggest to try and find the time to be alone, sometimes being surrounded by other people will effect how you feel and think. I know for myself it can be emotionally and physically draining at times. I need to be alone when I'm in my creative process, although occasionally working in a team for a project can help elevate my creative abilities as there is the opportunity to learn from other creatives. Sometimes the best ideas are invented out of a hybrid of many ideas.
Its all about finding balance and knowing what works for you.
Celebrate being multifaceted:
like so many other creatives I cant seem to grasp the idea of sticking to the one medium or creative practice. I want to be able to celebrate being multifaceted in all elements of my life, from my career to creating. Thats why It's so important for me to not restrict myself. Often I find my best pieces of work comes from allowing the process to reveal itself and come naturally. Being a little bit crazy and free with your process just might inspire you for another piece of work or a whole collection!
We all go through that phase of trying to come up with the best concept, the most unique piece of work or failing terribly at sticking to the one medium. But the reality is you'll never be able to live up to what everyone wants or likes. You will always have people who either love or hate your work. Thats the beauty in being a part of a world where no one person is the same. If we didn't have differences we wouldn't have all the amazing art styles that exist today.
Its okay if your work doesn't look the same as when you started. Thats the beauty as an artist and a human, you grow and you change.
The main medium I practice is obviously painting, specifically acrylic. But I also love digital art, ceramics, weaving, interior design, videography, photography, the list goes on!
Fun fact: I hated painting almost my entire life up until just a few years ago, I always thought I was bad at it, until I worked so hard at getting good at it my fingers almost fell off. Just proves that practice always makes perfect.....well better :)
I guess what I'm trying to say is find what feels right to you. Creating is a very delicate and powerful practice. Its a reflection of you as a person and what inspires you.
Now go and get it Sis! xo