How to overcome creative block in 5 simple ways
What is creative block?
Creative block is something that happens to any artist or creative person at some point throughout their life. Many have tried to decode it and offer solutions to overcome it, so in that sense, this is nothing new.
The causes for feeling stuck can be varied, but in my experience, the most common are stress, feeling pressured, exhaustion, and lack of time.
With the increased pace of life, the demands over our time and energy have also increased, which can send a lot of us in a spiral of burnout, apathy, and resentment. But it doesn’t mean we have to reach the point of burnout in order to give ourselves the permission to slow down, or to set aside time for recharging.
Experimentation and playfulness are always welcomed in jump-starting creativity and innovation. Just picking up a new medium or a tool never tried before can be enough to spark that inspiration flame.
Of course at this part it’s important to keep an open mind and not to judge our skill level or the outcome of this experimentation. Realistically speaking, if you just picked up a new tool yesterday there will be a learning curve, and the beginning will be wobbly. That’s ok, and welcomed. The importance of this is to switch our focus from the problem, to something new and to give our brain time out from trying to solve it, but still be immersed in a feeling of creativity.
Visiting art galleries and local art exhibitions can also be a fantastic way to gather inspiration, and to bring variety into our creative practice. Creativity relies on connecting random “dots” in new, unexpected, ways, so the more you see, the more dots you can connect.
Music has always been my biggest inspiration and influence in terms of creativity. For me, music triggers visuals, sometimes scents or smells, and many times creates a feeling of “fireworks” going off in my brain.
Most of the times I can’t even think properly without some sort of soundtrack to my stream of consciousness. Not everyone has synaesthesia, but this doesn’t mean that music and sensory elements cannot unlock creativity for you as well.
Spending time in nature is also one of my favorite activities when I need a creativity boost.
Simply disconnecting from devices and noise is a wonderful contrast with the reality of most of our lives, so freeing up that space allows for your brain to be able to focus on generating ideas, instead of processing useless data.
This doesn’t need to be some big, all-encompassing, thing. By no means I’m suggesting relocating to the Himalayas and living there for 10 years – unless of course you want to 🙂 – but sometimes a simple 15-20 minute walk in a park or forest nearby can be enough to refresh your mind and spirit. Or even spending a few minutes outside on your patio/balcony/porch etc.
Reading physical books is also a great way to get the inspiration and creativity going, especially if they are art or creativity related – like artist biographies or books containing artworks. The physical aspect of turning, smelling, seeing paper pages gives the experience that extra “touchy”, sensory, feeling.
Besides aesthetic inspiration value, artist biographies many times make us feel less alone in the world because – the chances are – that other artists have also faced similar challenges. Not to be glad about others’ challenges, but in the sense that we can lean on each other due to an invisible thread connecting us.
Sometimes we don’t need a fix, we need to feel support and belonging while we find the creative solution ourselves.
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