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The Secret of Staying Creative | 11 great ways to beat creative art block

by Jan Weiss

I get blocked sometimes. I’m sure most people in a creative industry do. Sometimes I’m simply not inspired and no matter how much chocolate or caffeine I consume it just isn’t happening. So I ask myself – how can I stay creative? How can I be in the moment all the time or at least avoid this suspension in creative energy? Looking back I need to think about what inspires me instead of what I am feeling when I am simply not feeling anything. What makes it work and makes me tick? What do other artists use for inspiration? The best way to do this is to simply throw out thoughts and ideas and see where this takes me.

     

  1. I will often peruse catalogues and online galleries to see what others are creating. While I am not interested in doing something just like them, I might be hoping this artist’s work will inspire something in me that I forgot about and I will soon be creating.
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  3. I am learning to take risks. Why just the other day I painted and it was messy and I didn’t know where it was taking me. I am so afraid of ruining a piece that often I will not let it reach the full potential that it has. And…what is the worst that could happen? Will the painting fail? Will people not like it? What’s so bad about this? Just paint it over again and make it better.
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  5. Work with others. I love to meet up with artists and talk art. Anything about art. I want to hear about their work and what drives them to paint or create what they do. As artists we can get so stuck in our studios – away from other people that we forget about all the life that is happening out there in this great big world. So my advice…open the door and walk through. Make a coffee date with a friend and take notes.
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  7. Write down what inspires you. Sometimes I will be traveling, on a plane or in a car and something pops into my head so I write it down. Be clear when you write these ideas down because what is perfectly clear right now may be nothing but a hazy thought in a week or two.
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  9. Use colors you normally wouldn’t use and paint something that you don’t plan to show anyone. This one is fun because it truly is just for fun. Don’t think about selling it or publishing it. Simply enjoy the process and see what you learn.
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  11. Try a medium you have never used. What about gel medium?
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  13. Use a substrate you have never tried before then see how much abuse it can take. My advice: wood. It takes a lot of abuse and always forgives me.
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  15. Go out and pick weeds. Many of my best ideas are discovered while pulling weeds. Doing something mindless frees up brain space to create.
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  17. Visit a gallery. Nothing gets my creative energy flowing more than going to galleries. Strike up a conversation with the artist or the gallery owner. Ask about your favorite pieces and what inspired the artist. Do not talk about your work—you are in a gallery that is spending money to showcase the work of other artists. Allow that time to learn about someone else.
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  19. Don’t try to be another artist. Just be yourself. You’re much better that way.
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  21. Be patient and realize some days are good for art and others are good for other things.

 

© 2011 Jan Weiss

Artist Bio – Jan Weiss

Jan Weiss, a northern California native is a freelance writer and artist specializing in home decor. With a strong background in art publishing and art trends, Jan shares this knowledge with the trade as well as individual artists.

Weiss has just completed her first eBook for artists, titled: The Coexistence of Art and Money; interested buyers can find this book as well as her art through several on-line galleries such as Artist Rising, Image Kind and Etsy.  Jan’s style is a mixed of collage, digital creations and abstract landscapes that will appeal to the hospitality buyer. She lives with her husband, cat and dog in the Bay Area and enjoys organic gardening, cooking, reading and making stuff.

You can find Jan at
www.theartplanet.com
www.etsy.co

Photocredit : Watercolour Girl image by Lorra Elena



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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate May 30, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I’m working on #2 these days…it’s hard to convince myself that I’ve got more than a very limited number of pieces in me, that if I do something messy and fun and different I won’t be one closer to ‘running out’. I posted about it in my blog, but I don’t think I’ve entirely managed to convince _myself_ yet…

Thank you for this post!

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Carolyn May 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Wonderful suggestions, Jan! Getting out of your current “box” by mixing things up always seems to work for me. I love to go for a walk, especially in a wooded area or just out in nature. The clear air helps drive out all those cluttered thoughts.

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Barbra May 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Great points. Another way that sometimes works for me….clean/reorganize the studio! Then I ‘find’ all sorts of things that inspire me.

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Helen Aldous May 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Great point Liz. Music works really well for me too, especially if it is really loud and fast ;-)

I love number out “go and pick weeds” So going to try this. Sounds very meditative.

Reply

Liz Ruest May 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Thank you! These are great, and I have used several of them with good effect. I’d like to add one that worked for me last week: put on some music! I had forgotten how it helps me switch from a must-do work mode to just playing and seeing what happens. Goes well with #2!

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