In the last five years I have found that my creativity slumps happen more often than not, and I can never understand why I feel so inclined to give in to them each time. I love painting, like seriously love it and thankfully I am marginally good at it. I used to dedicate 3 hours a week minimum to just painting. However, currently I have not painted one single item since June 2016. Why? Because I have not felt very “creative.”
This has happened to me before – where my creativity slump amounted to almost two years. I hadn’t even realized how long it had been – painting to me is a form of meditation and I can really relax and enjoy myself. When did my stress relief turn into something similar to a burden?
In the last month I have FORCED myself out of this slump because truthfully I wasn’t happy not creating. Here is what helped me beat my slump:
1. Change your surroundings
The biggest thing I had to do was find a place I felt comfortable to explore and enjoy being curious again with my medium. My old go to places weren’t quite doing it for me so I had to figure out where I was happy. Since, I can’t bring my paint supplies with me everywhere I finally got some “paint brush pens & felt tip markers ” and a sketchbook so I have no excuse but to draw a little anywhere.
2. Try something new
Trying something that is not directly related to what you want to do creatively can help you achieve success in your own practice. I found that by exercising more I was getting surges of creative spurts and had more energy to create and focus on something that matters to me.
3. Make a lot of lists
Jot down ideas, feelings, lyrics, poems, whatever floats your boat. But seriously keep a notebook at all times dedicated to ideas and the creation of ideas. I thought using the Notes app on my phone was good enough but it just didn’t work for me. I started keeping a journal separate from other ideas and notions and dedicated it solely to what I want to excel in.
4. Surf Pinterest
I don’t mean to go there – but it is a great tool creatively and also helped me establish what other ideas are floating around. As a creative I dwell on being unique and sometimes I can find inspiration from others but I never want to replicate their works or ideas.
5. Let Yourself Have a Break
Most importantly, when you are in a creative slump usually this is your minds way of saying to slow down. It is okay to let yourself have a break creatively speaking because yes, we are human, and yes we do need time off even for the things we love to do. However, if you notice after a few months you haven’t gotten back into the swing of things on your own, then go ahead and follow steps 1-4.
And if you were curious – YES I am painting, drawing or creating on a weekly basis!
Here’s a list of all the new things I tried in the past 6 months to kick my creativity into gear:
- Took a Baking Class with Sweet Boutique – SO MUCH FUN!
- Enrolled in a Pastel Class & Wire Sculpture Workshop at Franklin Carmichael Art Centre
- Enjoyed an Abstract Painting Class with a friend at 4Cats Art Studio
- Joined a Gym & Made a schedule & then STUCK WITH IT!
- Started a Bullet Journal (More to come on this!)
- Created a new short term & long term goals list
- Applied to show my art in a new show!