Ever get that restless, need-to-do something NOW feeling but you just can’t bear to deal with your usual tools and supplies or you just are not feeling inspired by what's in front of you? I've made this quick list of a dozen ways you as an artist or creative-type can still busy yourself when your muse has left you stranded.
1. Sort through old work: Take a good hard look at some of your previous works of art. What worked? What didn’t? Make notes. Take apart and/or repurpose what's just not working for you.
2. Organize supplies: I imagine we all have a hoard of supplies and materials that are piled up or stashed away awkwardly. Or, there are those tools that are never within arms reach when you need them. Re-think and reorganize the layout or storage of your stash.
3. Clean your studio: Busy yourself with the mundane task of sweeping, wiping, sorting, and generally cleaning your creative space. Just being in there may spark that inspiration.
4. Clean your house: Sometimes your studio may feel too confining. Expand the cleaning frenzy to your living space. The mundaneness of chores will have you back in the studio in no time (at least that's the case for me.)
5. Go shopping: Even if it's window shopping online or in a brick and mortar store, take a look at what current trends and styles are out there or what new art materials are on the market. What calls out to you? What can you do better? And, getting out of your own headspace is always good.
6. Explore social media: Blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram are not only full of eye-candy but behind all of that is real people.Take a moment to see what others are up to, lean on them for support, read about their struggles, share your own ideas and lack of motivation, find your tribe. Remember, it's SOCIAL media.
7. Go outside: Work in the garden. Go for a walk. Just take in a breath of fresh air. There's so much to absorb and take your mind off being stuck. From cloud patterns in the sky to leaves growing haphazardly to the breeze blowing across your face, let yourself be consumed with the beauty outside your door. You'll find interesting color combinations and patterns and contrasts that will help renew your creative spirit.
8. Read: Lose yourself in another world, another time, another place so when you come back to your table your view is a little different. However, if fiction's not your thing, a creative book or magazine may be all the break you need.
9. Exercise: There are those who SWEAR by the endorphin release that exercising gives you. I have to admit that I'm not really an exercise person. Though, I do enjoy stretching out the muscles from time to time. Exercising, in general, is a good way to really focus on one thing and get your mind off the block. It's hard to think about making art when you're sweating your butt off (literally).
10. Create outside your area of expertise: If you make jewelry, try painting a little. If you paint, maybe sew something. If you sew, try knitting. And, so on and so forth. Getting out of your comfort zone stretches those creative muscles so you can think more fluidly about your work.
11. Do creative prepwork: Stay busy at your desk preparing for when you get that stroke of inspiration. As a jewelry designer, this can include making ear wires and clasps, aging wire, texturing or etching metal. For a painter, this might be building and gesso-ing canvases. Get yourself ready to be manic about creating.
12. Learn something new: Watch a video tutorial. Hone your photography skills. Take a class. Learning something new might shine a light on how you normally work or might help you incorporate something new into your process. Or, it just may give you a new outlet.
Those are just some of the ways I like to stay busy when I'm in a creative rut. What are your tricks?
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Thank you to all of you who came by wishing me a happy blogiversary and who entered the giveaway. It was the perfect way to commemorate the occasion.