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How to Work Through a Creative Block: Tips From an Artist

How to Work Through a Creative Block: Tips From an Artist

If you are working on a creative project and are having trouble coming up with an idea, don't worry, you are not alone. Many artists have encountered what is known as a creative block, or "the inability to access one's flowing stream of inspiration and creativity". Relax, creative blocks are temporary and there are many strategies to get those ideas flowing again. Here are a few:

  1. First of all, plan time to complete your project, so that you are not rushed. Don't wait until the last minute to start your project – unless you are one of those people who thrives on the pressure of deadlines. If you are one of these people, then this strategy probably won't matter to you. For the rest of us, working on a planned timeline reduces anxiety and promotes creativity.
  2. Take a break and enjoy a change of scenery. Sometimes our minds get "stuck" into one way of thinking and simply changing our environment does a world of good. Go for a walk, work in a different room, or work on another project for a little while. After a relaxing break, new ideas often come easily.
  3. Brainstorm ideas. Write or draw every idea that comes into your mind, even the ones that seem crazy. This will often set off a new train of thought that will spark some "out of the box" ideas. Brainstorming with and bouncing ideas off of another person can often be helpful too.
  4. Research others who have had success with your type of creative project. Try googling words or phrases to find some samples. Browse through photo libraries to get visual inspiration. On a regular basis, be a "collector" of samples, photos, and prints of nice ideas and creative designs that you like and can refer back to when you are having a creative block. But don't copy someone else's work – use their work to inspire some new ideas of your own.

Are you feeling better? Remember, creative blocks are temporary. Often, a good night's sleep will take care of everything. Don't give up - remember Thomas Edison's quote, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration"!

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