Of course you do! Creative activities are good for self esteem, brain health and a great way to express yourself. Here are five ways to kickstart your creativity when you are feeling uninspired.
(and yes-I have noticed the typo on the main pic. But I think it is pretty apt so I'm keeping it!)
TIP 1 Surround yourself with creative people
I am lucky enough to have grown up in a family full of creatives and was obviously surrounded with loads of amazing creatives when I went to university to do fine art. However... creative people are EVERYWHERE. Mainly because everyone has the capacity to be creative in some form or another. You just need to find your creative gang!
This can be done at local art/craft lessons. Maybe taking up a new creative activity will inspire you in lots of other ways. Recently I have really enjoyed going to a networking meeting for small business in my area. At first I was ridiculously nervous, however, finding like minded creative people has been an amazing boost to my own creative practice. I met an amazing photographer Life Lived Branding who did my awesome branding shots whilst painting. This led to working with the incredible Number75 design who did my website. Which led to meeting one of my favourite creatives Raymonds Rose! Get out there and find your gang-it will really help you.
If you struggle for time (or, like me- you really really like staying at home these days!), social media can be a great place to start. Talking to others creatives can be really inspiring. They will all have the same barriers to their creativity. Whether it's comparing yourself too much to others at a different point in the journey, experiencing self doubt, fear of failure or simply struggling with new techniques- it is SO reassuring to know others feel the same way.
A fab group full of creative people who are encouraging is my facebook group (even if I do say so myself). One of my favourite places to hang out when you fall down the scroll hole! It would be lovely to see you there.
TIP 2 Rest!
I haven't just included this tip because I really love a nananap (and I really really do). When I first started concentrating on being an artist full time after leaving teaching, I thought I could approach my work in the same way. As a primary school teacher I worked long hours and it was relentless but incredibly rewarding. I assumed that working like that on my business would produce the same results. However, I was forgetting the whole process of being creative. It is impossible for your brain to be constantly producing artwork. So much more is involved in producing something that you can be proud of. Taking time to get inspired, investigating new materials and techniques, doing research. However I have found that resting and doing nothing is essential (and no I don't mean being really lazy!). How often do people say they have their best ideas when they are just about to fall asleep? Or when they are in the shower? Rest allows the brain to bring the best creative ideas to the forefront.
TIP 3 Get inspired
Think about the things that you love and you find inspiring. Then surround yourself in it! A musician will always be listening to music that inspires them. My children are both sports mad and totally immerse themselves in watching it, talking about it, have posters up of their idols. It inspires them so much-being creative is no different. If you love the seaside-go there! Make sketches, take photographs and videos, buy artwork from artists. Having the inspiration visible will kickstart your own creativity.
For me... I find nature always resets my anxious mind and helps me get started with my creative practice. I am a particular fan of all things floral (my main subject matter and overall obsession). Unfortunately I am not the world's best horticulturist! One of the ways I can get some flowery inspiration is some of the incredible accounts on Instagram. This is where I found the amazing florist Charlie whose work is a regular inspiration for my paintings.
Charlie's work inspired one of my latest acrylic floral paintings. Done on my favourite cradled wood panels and features all sorts of flowers (pink dahlias of course!).
TIP 4 Tidy up
OK OK this one is a bit boring and undoubtedly the thing I put off the most (creative mess anyone?) but it definitely works. I can go for long periods of time without painting. This is always ALWAYS the thing that gets me started into the creative flow again. As a teacher I had to work hard on being organised and tidy. This is not something I continued into my artist career! However when I have a clear space and have materials organised, it sparks more creativity and I almost always get into the flow again.
TIP 5 Get advice
I am very lucky to have benefited from some amazing advice and knowledge from teachers and creatives. However when I am feeling uninspired and can't seem to get out of it... I definitely recommend getting help. Once you have figured out what it is that is holding you back! Another artist who helped me tremendously when I was feeling in a creative rut last year is Sharon Sycamore. I needed to be brave and try some new things and with her encouragement my creative flow is back. So much so we are working together!
If you want to be in a place where you are encouraged and guided through the creative process then I can help you. Lots of plans for in person and online workshops and exhibitions this year so make sure you are on my mailing list to find out more.