I don’t always know what to write when I sit down to do this. A commitment has been made, though, and I know it comes as I go. It’s funny how creativity strikes. Sometimes it doesn’t strike like a hammer, or a match, but a small push from behind. When that happens, we can only go where it leads and hope for the best.
There’s a certain humor in starting this off about creativity, because I’ve been at a severe loss of it lately. I haven’t even been able to follow my own rules about breaking a creative dry spell. What’s that? Rules you say? Why yes, I have some rules! I think we’ve found our topic for today!
Rules, I know, right? We all hit creative blocks, and they can be a major bitch to move past. Like I said, I’m in one right now and having a hell of a time. Come to think of it, I’ve been in one all year. I’ve done plenty of drawing, but very little finished artwork.
So let’s just dig in. These are the tricks and tips I normally use to get past my creative block.
- Switching mediums: this is one of the easiest and fastest ways to break your creative block. Simply switch to using a different medium than what you are stuck with. Switching mediums forces us to think in different ways. Once you get into the mindset with the medium you’ve switched to, you can either ride that out for a ways or switch back to where you were stuck. Often this is enough to force you back into work mode.
- Switching styles: sometimes switching mediums isn’t feasible, but switching the style you work in is a better option. If you normally work with realism, try illustration. Is you do illustration, try cubism. And on and on. Switching styles is the same principle and switching mediums, the idea being to flip the thought process requires to come up with ways to do what you’re doing.
- Use other artists as inspiration: imitation is the best form of flattery, and it’s also a great way to get the juices flowing. When you take yourself out of your element and try to see things from the perspective of another artist you like or respect, it can make you look at your own work differently. That different view can inspire a great deal.
- Movies and music: a lot of us already watch a lot of movies and listen to a lot of music, but have you ever thought of it as inspiration? Put on something visually arresting, or music that sets a mood or paints a soundscape. Draw on that for your own work. I do this all the time and it’s extremely effective.
- Free flow drawing: this one is fun. Take paper, a pencil, close your eyes, and scribble. Just scribble like a madman. Don’t press too hard, this is just step one. For step two, you’ll want to take a pen, and stare at that paper like you’re picking shapes out of clouds. As you stare, you’ll start to form shapes and then ideas and then you’ll have what’s most likely a bizarre piece of something. But it forced you into thinking! That’s the goal!
Now these are only a few ideas, and not nearly as expansive as possible. In fact, I’m working on publishing a booklet on inspiring creativity for tattooers. Keep an eye out.
Well kids, we made it through another weekly blog, and twenty minutes ago I had no idea what to write. But I think it came out alright. Let me know what you think, or any suggestions you have, in the comments.