Sitting at home surrounded by the same walls and scenery for nearly a year can be one of the most uninspiring circumstances an artist finds themselves in. I’ll be the first to say that I’m tired of romanticizing what I can find indoors and am dying to go out into the world and collect different experiences to guide my creative endeavors. If you’re feeling writer’s block or are stuck in other creative funks, here are a five ways to get the inspiration flowing and your hands moving:
- Alternate between creative outlets.
Oftentimes, my lack of motivation to create stems from boredom of using the same medium for a long period of time, so typically what helps me is shifting my focus to another expressive means. Having multiple creative forms allows me to expand the possibilities of what I can produce and continue creating depending on how I’m feeling. If I’m not up to using more than the 2 brain cells needed to write, I’ll pick up my crochet hook and yarn to mindlessly work on a cardigan. When I want to experiment with colors and aesthetically pleasing visuals, I’ll start painting or doing a super bold makeup look. By no means do you have to be particularly talented at the art forms you pick up, so don’t be afraid to shake it up! Simply creating stimulates your artistic spirit way more than not choosing to create at all.
- Search for fun prompts.
One of the easiest ways to get yourself to write, draw, paint or whatever art it is that you practice is to look up prompts. Prompts are great for getting inspiration for projects you normally wouldn’t have imagined being stuck in your own head, and they can even lead to fresh ideas that make for a greater piece of work. Thanks to Google, it takes zero effort and time to find one that piques your interest. You don’t even necessarily have to spend too much time actually creating, so long as you whip something up. Self-Publishing School has a plethora of writing prompts for your next story categorized by genre, and ArtPrompts is the perfect generator for visual arts. Your next project is just a click away!
- Try an immersive experience.
Sometimes finding inspiration is as simple as taking a minute to appreciate the creations of mother nature. For this exercise, you can either safely go to a scenic spot of nature in person or pull up an awe-inspiring photo on your computer and use your imagination. Whatever the case, whatever the place, think about your senses. What parts of the scene or photo are calling attention to your eyes? What does the air feel like? Can you smell or hear anything? Ponder on the emotions that arise as you immerse yourself into the place. Jot down notes or sketches, and turn it into prose, poetry, paintings or anything your creative heart desires. Not only is this a meditative break that grants you moments of peace, but the attention to the senses and the world makes for lovely material you can use to inspire your art.
- Reimagine your favorite art.
In order to make art, you must consume art! One of my favorite tactics in a creative rut is to look at the art that is special to me, and try to reimagine it with my own twist. Retell a story from another character’s perspective or turn lyrics and sounds into colors, just let your favorite songs, movies, and other art forms be your muse! In the past, I’ve painted my favorite movie scenes onto empty wine bottles and visualized musical aesthetics into makeup art. Other examples I’ve seen are Olivia Rodrigo writing a song based on Twilight, Haile Torris (@halietorris on Tiktok) painting portraits from Taylor Swift songs, and even a baker (@thepalatablelife) making cookies based on TV shows! Of course, be sure to give credit where it is due, especially if you're looking at smaller creators for this type of inspiration.
- Find artistic communities on TikTok.
Tiktok might be stealing all my information and listening into my conversations, but their incredibly specific algorithm has helped me find some of my favorite smaller creators that have influenced me to keep up artistic expression. Seeing others find joy in their art and hobbies has honestly been monumental to finding my own interests in art since being in quarantine, motivating me to keep improving and introducing me to methods I would have never thought of utilizing. Scroll through art hashtags, engage videos of your interests, and let Tiktok work it’s magic by bringing you the art inspiration you’ve been looking for!
Ultimately, art is supposed to be an enjoyable practice, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you go through periods where ideas aren’t flying through your head in the numbers. Remember these mental blocks are temporary, and sooner or later you’ll be back to having more ideas than you know what to do with. It’s easy to lose your creativity in the endless stream of monotonous days, but I hope these tips have shown you it’s just as easy to reclaim it!