As artists, inspiration is the fuel that drives us to wake up every morning and put something creative and expressive out in the world. At times, we find ourselves standing in front of blank canvases, paint brushes in hand and just not knowing what to do next. Just like a valuable energy source, inspiration gets depleted at times and needs to be replenished for it to be used again.
I have found myself in this position more times than I can count. However, with a bit of experience and trial and error, I now know what I can do to pull myself out of a creative rut and feel inspired once again. So, to help you out at a time when you are creatively uninspired, I have put down three things that help me get my artistic groove on.
Remembering your purpose:
As we get consumed by the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and the mundane seriousness of adulthood, we tend to forget why we loved making art in the first place. Was it to say something important and significant about issues that are close to our heart? Or was art just our way to express our repressed emotions and deepest thoughts for people out there to relate to? We need to keep reminding ourselves what our purpose was when we first picked up a paintbrush or a sketch pencil. I suggest, sitting down and writing yourself a letter about what you wanted to achieve with your art. Once it is written, keep the letter somewhere safe, for a time when you desperately need a reminder of your purpose as an artist.
Go back to your favourite artists:
We all have artists whose work made us reconsider what we wanted to do with our lives. The work of these artists influenced our minds and inspired us to tread away from the path of mediocrity to create something that inspired a future generation of artists. Go back to the body of work that these artists produced for that boost of inspiration. Better yet, try watching interviews or reading the biographies of your favourite artists to get a perspective on the creative challenges that they faced and how they overcame them. This will give you invaluable insight into their creative process, that you can use in refining your own.
Open yourself up to others’ opinions of your work:
Sometimes, we tend to overthink about what we want to create and obsess over little details of our work that stifle our creativity and snuffs out any inspiration that we might have. At times like these, it is best to step away from what we are working on and have other people take a look at what we are doing. Now this is no way easy to do, as we can be quite sensitive of feedback and opinions. However, once we overcome that initial hurdle of pacifying our egos and listening to what other people have to say, we can get various perspectives on our work that can be can be considered the next time we find ourselves in front of a blank canvas.
If facing a creative block or feeling drained of inspiration, give these suggestions a try and I assure you; you will find yourself motivated to create once again. Regardless of how uninspired we are, artists should never stop creating because it was Picasso who wisely said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” With that, I hope that we never put our brushes down, so we stay inspired and eventually become inspiring ourselves.