At some point, every artist most likely experiences a creative drought. Like writer’s block, it can leave you feeling listless, tired, and frustrated. It can even drain you of the resources you need to come up with creative solutions for your drought of creativity.
When you feel at a loss for inspiration, we hope you find our list of 10 unique ways to find inspiration helpful and (of course) inspiring.
Dreams can be weird. When you’re experience a lack of creativity, embrace the oddity and turn it into art. In dreams, our subconscious processes the events and experiences of the previous day. By juxtaposing a variety of scenes and images, you might just find that your dreams inspire you to look at the mundane in a completely new and exciting way.
The Landscape of Your Conscious Mind
Dreams aren’t the only places we can strange. Sometimes when you’re in a creative drought, you are simply trying or thinking too hard. Essentially, the more you try to be creative, the less creative you feel. Take down that wall by just letting your mind wander. Sketch or notate any ideas or designs that come to mind. Then take those ideas and find a way to implement them into a physical piece.
For many creatives, being out in nature is one of the best ways to stimulate the flow of your creative juices. Whether you take a walk through your neighborhood or hike in the forest, keep your eyes open for anything you find beautiful or inspiring. It could come in the form of a simple acorn strewn across your path, or even through the more abstract way light filters through a leaf.
Fashion and art are sisters. You may find inspiration from a variety of places in the fashion world, from distinctive fabrics, stunning silhouettes, that season’s “hot” color, and more. Find designers you like and keep an eye on their aesthetic. One of their pieces may jolt your creativity back to life!
Currently, at The Noguchi Museum on Long Island, there is an exhibition by Tom Sachs that explores and reworks the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Think about the culture you grew up in. How might you represent and reimagine its symbols in your artwork? People look to art for connection, and cultural traditions are rich sources of inspiration because they are so personal. (NOTE: Be careful and cautious not to stray into the realm of cultural appropriation, especially if the culture is not your own.)
You never know what random thing might suddenly strike you with inspiration. It could be a seed you stumble across on your daily walk or it might be an old rusted tricycle at a garage sale. Who knows, it might even be a clump of fur snagged on a thorn bush. Keep your eyes open for these these and any other type of found objects, and the universe will reward you.
In the film American Beauty, there is a scene where one of the characters is describing the most beautiful thing he has ever scene, and he plays a video of a plastic bag blowing in the wind. He describes how the movement of the bag reminded him that “sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world…” So, whether you’re watching a plastic bag or a bird in a tree or an athlete excelling at their sport, movement itself can be the inspiration you need.
Music is a great way to tap into your emotions. How you feel is often the well from which your creativity runs, so finding a song that you can connect with is a great way to get those waters flowing again.
Sometimes you just need to do something different. Are you normally a painter? Try sculpting with clay for an afternoon. Do you you normally make jewelry using beads? Try stamping metal! It’s easy to get bored doing the same thing over and over and over again. By trying something new, you bring back excitement and your brain is forced to develop new neural pathways. Whether you decide to stick with your new medium or not, it may just jumpstart your creativity in a way that you can apply to your regular methods.
Talking to People
People are always passionate about something. When you talk to them about what they love, that passion can be contagious. And it might open your eyes to something you love, too, but never knew about it. And that is a great place for art and creativity to start.
What are your favorite places to find inspiration? Share them with us—and the other artists, crafters, and creatives at ACT—by commenting below or on our Facebook page.