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Day 315: Getting Through Creative Blocks

Getting through creative slumps is never easy. If you are an artist, you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say, there are just some days where nothing is going your way. You create and create and create, and still nothing seems to be right. You might not even want to create because everything feels wrong. When you get into these slumps is can be incredibly hard to get out of them.

Recently I found myself in one of these creative slumps, and at a time that truly wasn’t helpful. They’re never fun to experience, but as of right now I trying to finish seventy images before the end of the year and the last five or six have been . . . just ehh. I’m not saying these images I have created are terrible, they’re just not the strongest images I have ever made.

So what happens when you find yourself in one of these creative slumps? Because let’s be honest, if you are an artist you will find yourself here at this point at some time in the future. It is one of the hardest periods as an artist and it can make you want to give up, but my biggest piece of advice is don’t.

Giving up is surrendering to the block. What you want to do is push through. Create again and again trying to push through the lack of creativity or inspiration. If you know you need to create, but feel yourself not wanting to, do something just so you can keep your creativity muscle working. Everyone is creative if they put their mind to it, you just have to work really hard at it.

Turn to other forms of media for inspiration. Set a timer and browse Pinterest for a little while, look at different aesthetics and quotes to find additional layers of meaning to add to what you create. Watch movies or tv shows that have inspired you in the past (during this slump I’ve been watching “Anne with an E”, an incredible show that is truly inspiring), and turn to books that you love. By taking in things that inspire you, you will begin to feel more inspired to create.

Take a break from stressing over the non-creative bug and go outside or do something different. Take a drive in your car or go hang out with a friend. Don’t give up on your art, just take a small break so you mind can mull it over in the background while you spend time enjoying something else. You’ll feel much more refreshed when you come back to your work.

If after all of this, you still feel like you’re banging your head against a wall, it might be time to take a longer step back. Giving up is never the answer, but sometimes we need to step away from our art for a while. When we do this we give ourselves a chance to miss creating so that when we come back, we are longing to get our hands on our art form.

Creating is a necessary part of life, but sometimes you will run into a wall. When this happens find a way around it, through it, or over it. When there’s a will there is a way. Take your time a create while soaking in as much inspiration as you can.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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