Hitting a creative block happens to even the most talented of artists. Zahabiya Gabajiwala has some tricks to overcome it
Sometimes you might find ideas for your next art project while being engrossed in odd chores such as cooking or picking up things from the grocery store. But, on the other hand, when you finally get down to work with your brushes, ready to make your next masterpiece, suddenly every idea you have might not seem appealing enough. This is what we know as the infamous creative block.
For a design professional, creative blocks can be very frustrating. When you rely on your creativity as your daily motivation, apart from paying the bills and building your reputation, you cannot afford to be short of ideas or the energy to put them into action. At this juncture, the first thing to remember is that every artist goes through creative blocks. You need to constantly practise, observe, try a new method, do something that helps you remain inspired, and repeat this process until you succeed; this might seem to be cumbersome, but here are a few tips to help you get started when your creative well seems to run dry -
Make Art Every Single Day
Pablo Picasso once rightly said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” Whatever your craft might be — whether it's writing, painting, or podcasting — you must find the drive and discipline within yourself to sit down and do it every single day because eureka moments arise from consistent efforts. If you want to be inspired, you have to seek it actively.
Use The Power Of The Internet
The Internet has made everything convenient and accessible. Finding inspiration is at your fingers. You can scroll through your screen, port yourself to a place, research the new findings or some ancient culture. Through blogs and forums, you can even connect with people from around the world. You can see videos and hear podcasts from artists who inspire you to ensure that your learning curve keeps moving upwards. Visit your favourite art page on social media or watch that comedian who tickles your funny bones to keep the endorphins in check. The only drawback is that this information overload might sometimes make you feel overwhelmed. So it's always good to spend some time off-screen after your regular internet surfing to help your ideas take shape.
Talk About Your Ideas
It's always good to share your thoughts and ideas with people around you or those who have similar interests as you. The inputs you receive at the initial stage of your art project might help you streamline your work better and make the necessary changes. However, do not rely entirely on the opinions of others. Trust your instincts and believe in ideas.
Soak In Nature
Nature is all around us and deep within us; we are inseparable from it. If you look close enough, every leaf, blooming flower, or birds perching on a tree branch has a story to tell. When I walk into a garden, I can't help but get a sense of wonder that triggers my imagination. As someone who frequently switches mediums and techniques, I rely on nature as a constant source of inspiration.
Sit Back, And Make Time For Some Fun
Don't stress yourself out waiting for inspiration to strike at the right time and place. It doesn't always work like that; instead, play, have fun and enjoy life. The most extraordinary ideas surface when your mind is at peace and when you are in your happy zone. Just like spending time on actual projects is essential, so having some fun; this takes away restrictions, eliminates deadlines, and stretches your muscles like nothing else.
Read Art Quotes Daily
Nothing beats reading the words of your fellow artists for motivation. A constant supply of inspirational quotations about art is a great way to stay inspired. Look for a daily newsletter with inspiring artwork and quotes, or try using a beautiful daily calendar with your favourite artist's work. These small, regular reminders can be effective, especially when you need an extra push to get to work. So put these little sources of inspiration on your home office desk and think about them, when you're struggling to stay motivated.
If you are feeling low on inspiration, challenge yourself, do things that you wouldn't normally. Try being an illustrator, a photographer or even a baker. There is always something you haven't tried or are scared to... so, now is the moment to try it. The most disastrous failures are always the most significant sources of learning and inspiration. Failing or succeeding is just an outcome; it is the creative journey that matters. Perhaps you're working on projects that aren't all that different from what you've done before. Challenging yourself might be a great way to get motivated, as it helps you come face-to-face with your abilities and opens the door to new opportunities.
Make Art Like No One Is Watching
The fear of making mistakes, even small ones, often prevents us from finding inspiration. We don't want to risk our progress by doing something that might not work out. Make art just because you enjoy the process, experiment, try new things, or go with the flow without worrying about the outcome; this can be very liberating.
(The author is the founder & principal artist, ZA Works Design)