There comes a time in every creator’s life when they are stuck. Their mind, their hands, their creativity just draws a blank. These creative blocks are the bane of any artist, writer, vlogger, streamer, actor or comedian’s life. The question is, what tools can we use to burst through the creative fog that settles in when our mind is stuck?
When the fog occurs, it is essential to realize that what you are doing right now isn’t working. Staring at whatever your personal blank canvas is does not make the issue go away. You can even fall into the void of that emptiness and get lost in what is not there. The day to day routine that is the collection of your life is not helping. What do you do? You do different.
Try the new, the exciting, the difficult.
Change can help stir those creative juices. Try something new in life. Go eat at a restaurant you’ve never tried. Go try a hobby you would never consider doing. Go read a book that you would normally never pick up. Flex your creative muscle by painting, doing comedy, writing, any creative task that you have never tried before. You might hate it all, and that’s fine. But it is that change that might provide the spark your creativity is looking for, and at the very least you will have gained new experiences that you can incorporate into that pool of knowledge you will use in the future.
The new is not the only tool you have to help you. Creating is not a static process, it is something that we learn. It is often through learning that we find the drive to create in the first place. An exceptional teacher, a difficult lesson, an epiphany that took your work to another level. You may feel comfortable with where you are, but there is always more to learn. Take a new class, listen to a new lecture, focus on learning in order to be better. Simply learning a new technique might inspire you to get past the creative fog. There's this Skillshare course by Hayden Aube called 'Teach Yourself To Draw Anything', if drawing is something you could better at, why not challenge yourself for once? Here's a new list of loads of online courses that you can do to challenge and push yourself towards something new.
Talk to strangers
As much as creating is often a lonely and solitary pursuit, we, as humans, are not primarily solitary creatures. Having conversations with strangers, fans, other artists can pull the creativity out of your soul. An offhand comment can inspire a great novel or painting. Not all ideas have to come from you. In a world where everything has been done, there is nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from others. It is also our connections with people that help define who we are.
Revisit old projects
Now, not all of us have the luxury of just abandoning a project and moving on. But sometimes, you do just need a break and to try a new project or maybe even to go back and give some old unfinished work another attempt. Often, it is the unfinished projects that first inspired your current work and in revisiting them, you can find inspiration. It can even lead to you completing an unfinished painting, poem, or novel. You might just be your own greatest muse.
Take step back
You’ve got these tools. You’re eating new strange foods, taking classes from masters, talking to all your peers, working on your old projects, even doing whatever Zumba is. But what if still nothing is working? In that case, it is important to step back and remember that time is finite. It is a currency you spend and can’t get back and creating consumes it as fast as you make it. You might have to set all those tools aside and go back to that blank canvas.
Make the first mark
One word, one line, one brush stroke at a time. It can be painful taking each step forward. But the surest way of leaving the creative fog behind is to move forward until you escape it. The fans, the viewers, the readers will not know how difficult and painful it was to tackle that small hump you had to get over. Creating is work, it can be the most challenging work in the world, and there can come a time when you just have to do it one heartbeat at a time.
Don't forget you can always share your art with us! Become the next Artist of The Month or tag us on Instagram @darkyellowdot
If you found this article useful, share it around, that makes us happy. You can also join our MailSquad for posts like this.
Thanks for reading, and remember... sharing is caring.
Disclaimer: This blog occasionally contains affiliate links, which means Dark Yellow Dot receives a small commission on purchases made through links at no additional cost to you. We take pride in only sharing content we love. So if you make a purchase, you're supporting our cause to support more artists. Thanks for that!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kit Falbo writes and domesticates. Reading to, bathing, driving, picking up after, and loving his family. Skills he uses to write Science Fiction as an independent author who loves the craft of writing. He has two books: The Crafting of Chess, a LitRPG adventure and Intelligence Block, a Techno-Wizard mystery.