Overcoming Creative Blocks

Any artist/creative/maker knows too well the feeling of sitting in front of a blank page, just waiting for something, anything, to appear. But how can you get back on track when it feels like you've lost all your creative thoughts?

Journal or write. Let your thoughts or ramblings out on a page a see where it takes you. Many artists turn to writing poetry as a way to get their creative thoughts flowing again until they are ready to return to the canvas.

Change up your scenery. Try getting some fresh air, or maybe look for some inspiration in your surroundings. Taking a walk, working in a different location (a new cafe or spot in the library), or even sitting in a different place in your house can help re-focus your attention (and even change your mood). 

Try a different craft. It forces you to think in a different way, approaching a new creative problem. Is there something you've always wanted to try? Needlepoint? Screenprinting? Beading? Collage? Dance? Guitar? Focusing your attention on something outside of your day-to-day gives your brain a break and allows for it to problem-solve in the background. Plus, trying out new skills is a great way to further explore your creativity. 

A few other tips that have helped me get on track when I feel stuck:

  • Set a deadline. Procrastination and creative blocks often go hand in hand. A deadline will help keep you focused, especially if the project just needs to be done. 
  • Try resources from other artists. Image prompts or small projects like The Jealous Curator's Creative Unblock or The Art Assignment can simply get you creating again when you're not sure where to start. 
  • Abandon the project (and come back to it later). Maybe something else is calling for your creative attention, and the project will be better served when you return to it after taking a step away. 
  • Give yourself permission to make a mess. Paint/draw/write whatever you feel. It doesn't have to be polished, or finished, or even something that you will share with others. But something feels really great about allowing yourself to play with your medium. 

Do you have any tips for overcoming creative blocks? Share them in the comments.