Creative Doings May 13, 2010

Everyone can get into a creative slump. Here are ten ways to stimulate your creative juices and generate fresh inspiration.

Create art in a new place
Grab your sketchbook and head to a part of town you usually don't visit and plop down on a curb, bench or car hood and start to draw what you see.

Try something new
Do you usually paint in oils? Try pastels. Draw anime? Try drawing flowers. Do you work with leather? try cotton or burlap.

Try reading something totally different from what you usually do, even if it is just a magazine article on an unusual subject. Keep doing this at least once for several days. The new and different information will get your mind thinking about new subjects, unlocking new avenues for creativity.

Go back to your roots
Think about what you used to draw or create as a child. Try your hand at it again, using crayons, of course. This exercise moves your mind from the strain of "adult art" and allows it to be more creative in the process. All the while you are still creating art that may be used as preliminary sketches for something more grand.

Go Radical
Don't just try a different medium, try a virtual medium! If you've never dabbled in computer art of any kind, now is the time to give it a try. You don't need to buy fancy software.

We artists are so into learning new techniques that sometimes we forget it is also important to switch gears and teach. This will put your mind on a totally new track for a while. I'm not saying you have to go out and teach to a classroom of students. There are many sites on the internet with forums where artists can share their ideas and takes on techniques.

Get Chatty
Creating can be a lonely, solitary job sometimes. Get out and talk with others about your craft or join an online chat group. Your brain may be crying out for conversation

Instead of trying to make something new, look at something old. Go through your old sketchbooks, portfolio, and finished art pieces. Maybe revisit and old piece and re-do it.

Take a mental break
Do something other than obsess about your creative block. Go for a walk, go eat lunch, get some errands done. The important point is to get your mind on something else to give your subconscious time to work on the problem. You may find an idea just comes to you while you're doing something else.

Give yourself a blank slate
Cleanse your mind by cleansing your mistakes. Erase a botched drawing. Paint over a fouled oil. Rip out and toss a fizzled sketch, tear apart that botched blouse.


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