Six Tips for Unblocking Creative Block

Six Tips for Unblocking Creative Block

 “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” – Chuck Close

Recently I was at a week-long artist retreat. My one goal was to fill a sketchbook. It was a small sketchbook and my goal was not unreasonable yet it was challenging. I had to fill ten pages a day for seven days. Some days were difficult as I had to dig deep to reach my sketching goal. There were times when I needed to do more.  I pushed though the excuses and did the work and ultimately met my goal.Here are some of the things that help me get unstuck.

1. Show up anyway

Schedule a time to be in your studio and stick to it. Turn off your phone and be present. Write, review old work, dream, but show up.

My studio is the best room in my home. Creating a safe and inviting space makes me want to be here creating, even when I am stuck.

My studio is the best room in my home. Creating a safe and inviting space makes me want to be there creating, even when I am stuck.

 2. Play

Make a mess, sketch, photograph, finger paint.  Change your routine and create things that make you smile. Don’t make work that is precious, make work that is fun.

Googly eyes on rocks and shells have helped many times to make me smile in a slump. Best when shared!

Googly eyes on rocks and shells have helped many times to make me smile in a slump. Best when shared!

3. Go to your heroes

Talk to people who inspire you. If you cannot, explore the work they have created.

Poetry, visual art and time considering the work of other creative people opens up a larger perspective to the overall process.

Poetry, visual art, and time spent considering the work of other creative people opens up a larger perspective to the overall process.

4. Prep your studio

This might be the time to reorganize your space, prep panels, or perform mindless tasks you have been putting off for a rainy day. Rain or not, get busy and make space for the work you will create.

5. Keep an Idea Book

Carry it with you always. Once, I was inspired by a co-worker’s tie.

In my Idea Book I have snippets of conversations, poetry, songs, and movies. This potluck of items have jump-started much of my work.

This is one of many books I keep handy to capture ideas and observations.

This is one of many books I keep handy to capture ideas and observations.

6. Not every idea is a winner

And that’s okay. It’s a number’s game. Some ideas will take root while others will have a short life – it is not their time to thrive yet – maybe it never will be – but keep moving!

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