Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Overcoming Creative Blocks


 Last week I wrote about some of the common blocks to creativity. This week I thought I'd list some of my favorite ways to overcome them. Here are my top four.

Do Something
The simple act of entering your workspace can spur ideas. Begin by cleaning or straightening. Pull out items from your stash and play with them. Hang up works in progress and brainstorm next steps.  You might want to keep a list of things to work on when you find yourself with no inspiration.

Daily Practice
Just as you need to keep your muscles active to prevent atrophy, you need to keep your creative “muscle” in shape. Make a goal of doing at least one creative thing every day. You might want to begin a visual journal or come up with short activities you can do to exercise your creativity.

Allot time each week or month to try something new. It might be a new technique, a new medium, a variation of something you already do. The idea is to expose yourself to new things, which often opens the mind and brings in new ideas. Make sure you keep in the spirit of play and avoid judging the result.
(The photo above is a piece I created while playing with textured gel mediums and acrylic paint. I really enjoy working with them and now I incorporate them into some of my fiber pieces.)  

Idea Journal
Our best ideas always seem to come when we least expect it. When do you get your best ideas? In the shower? In bed at 4 in the morning? On the way to work? Develop a system to capture those ideas. It might be a notebook you carry with you, it might be an app on your smartphone or tablet, it might be a tape recorder. It’s great to have a stash of ideas to look through for inspiration.
What is your favorite way to overcome a creative block?

Read more strategies for overcoming creative blocks.

If you could use some help in overcoming your creative blocks, join me in my online class, Re-Discover Your Creative Self.  The materials are now available online and you can sign up through the end of February. Work at your own pace and join in the class discussion if you have questions or want to share your thoughts.(For more information, visit my website.)

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