As the old adage goes, “to create is to occasionally suffer from creativity block.” Or, at least I think it goes something like that. Point being that creative blocks are oftentimes an inevitable pitfall of the artistic process. We asked our Artist Community how they overcome creativity blocks and here’s what we found out:
I think the first thing you should do is accept that this is part of it and realise it’s totally okay. You are not a robot, you don’t HAVE to be creative all the time. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Then what I do is I try to focus on things that I do enjoy and don’t stress me out. I read books, browse magazines, listen to music, watch whatever shows and movies and I like to go for long walks (through nature). If I’m lucky these things will inspire me at some point and it’ll come so much more naturally again.
In my experience there is no real way to overcome creative blocks. What I do during these periods of non-productivity it is the research. I inform myself on various artistic sites, I go to see exhibitions or films, reading, doing photos and then try (with other artistic media) to entice me or just text new techniques.
Creativity is a ‘use it or lose it’ deal. If you let these blocks control you, it will be harder to get your creativity back. Your brain and creativity muscle needs to be conditioned constantly. Creative blocks are sometimes due to not allowing yourself to be creative. Life gets in the way, your job gets stressful and you don’t take the time to relax your mind and let that creative energy flow. I carry a small notebook around to jot down ideas or start a draft of a piece of work. Often, I find myself overwhelmed with work, letting that stress block out the creative side. When I realize this is happening, I start implementing a 33:33-minute rule, working for that straight 33:33 minutes and then forcing myself to take a break. I will often take a walk, or sit outside in the fresh air and allow myself the 5-10 minutes to deload or let my mind recover. I will mentally work on my creative art during a walk, or pencil to paper in the notebook. Once you feel like you are working harder to avoid a block than you are on your actual art, you need to let it happen. Just like the seasons, it will return and with a force that can overwhelm you.
Go for a walk. Challenge my dad to a sword fight with foils. Realize that a block might indicate something altogether awry within myself. Perhaps it’s an excuse I’ve fabricated to act as lieu. Gaze at the stars at night and feel their warm winds against my face.
Creativity is something that can be stirred by being exposed to different things and different experiences, music, dance, theatre, books, movies and much more. Being open to different media and experiencing different things, especially new and exciting things, help me to get more inspiration. However, creativity is not only for some people, anyone can be creative. Yes, we cannot be creative all the time, and that is just FINE. As for me, I feel that when I stress myself over something, stress in itself is the main blockage. Creativity needs space and a relaxed state of mind. If I find myself stressing too much on a task, I usually let it sit for a few hours, days and sometimes even weeks and then go back for it again later. Also, I always carry a sketch book with me to scribble on new ideas.
I tend to just go and do something else. I write, I play games, I talk to people, I consume media in various ways. I restock, basically and let my brain go through a cooldown period. I try not to get too anxious if it feels like it’s gone on too long but it tends to work out for the better. Sometimes, you gotta build up for the sweet ults.
When I experience creative blocks, usually I just lay down my bed for a few hours, eyes closed but not sleeping, feel like I’m roaming around on my head. Looking for something. There’s gonna be something in my head somewhere, then after that, I prepare coffee and try try to work on anything. Just anything. My current artwork is based on spilled coffee on paper. That’s probably something and I’m pretty happy about it. Most of the time i fall asleep though. Creative blocks are very tough to break through. Not that easy, but if you try and find a way to get through it that would be better. I’m learning a lot on this just by reading the DBH forum post.
When I feel blocked, I like to take a long shower or brush my teeth. My best ideas are in the bathroom, apparently.