During April / May of this year my motivation and creativity levels in regards to Not Copper Armour were incredibly low, I had poured all my mental and physical energy into this year's relaunch that I hadn't given any thought to what happens after. A slump in inspiration is something we've all experienced from time to time but how we overcome this period is just as important as understanding why it happened. Here are some ways to address your dip, which can be applied to any given interest. How do you come back after any kind of crash when your muse leaves you (be it a complete surprise or not)?
Understanding The 'Why'
Why we fail to be creatively motivated on some days rather than others isn't always something we can easily predict or prepare for as our daily schedules can be busy and throw many spanners in the works. Taking the time to break down why you feel as you do can help you get back to where you want to be quicker. Our mental capacity and those oh so precious links we need for glorious content be negatively influenced by a whole host of reasons including:
- Personal struggles and worries
- You're not happy with a big element within your life
- Neglecting your health (both physical and mental)
- Completing a big project that took all your energy
- Your usual week is bursting at the seams with no real down time
These are some of the more common ideas, for me, my latest lack of productivity was due to a culmination of late nights, slight disregard for my health and a drive to make it as good as possible despite how proud I was of the final result and everything it had to offer - I was left feeling flat, tired and and previous ideas didn't seem quite good enough to take forward. Knowing the 'why' can influence you into assessing what works and what doesn't, taking some time to give yourself a MOT is valuable. Walking away, even just for an hour or a day (even longer if you want) can allow you to come back refreshed as seeing the same concept over again can make you stir-crazy, bored and easier to lose interest in current or future plans.
Take Part In Mini Challenges
Getting back into the groove of igniting those creative thought can take time but one way to encourage this is completing physical little projects that can get the spark going again. it also has the potential to take your work in a completely new direction, some examples include:
- 10 x 10 clothes challenge: 10 items of clothes, for 10 days, creating 10 outfits
- Freely sketch for 20 minutes with no control, even if you don't like every day
- Take one image every day, look at the #365project
- Read a few pages every single day
- Take part in Instagram challenges: #100happydays // #teg30daychallenge Thanks to The Everyday Girl // #DSShapes Thanks to Design Sponge // #52handlettered // #creativeunblock Thanks To The Jealous Curator // #iamcreative //
Trying your hand at these if for only 2 weeks then a month can open up your engagement if you choose to publish to a wider audience but if not then if can still be a personal record to push you and your productivity - it can give you a daily accomplishment which can be good if you're feeling less than positive.
Expand Your Resources
Feeling stifled can be a major contributing factor as to why you're not as prolific in your work or as forth coming in your ideas, this can be due to finding a whole in your creative arsenal or having older equipment - your items can still work a dream but introducing something new into your routine can make a whole lot of difference to your mentality. Sparkly new things can give you a fresh outlook on how to use your materials or medium, you can become excited again to play and explore your possibilities, whether you're a blogger, youtuber, photographer, designer, painter (or anything in between) there can always be a repurchase or something brand spanking new to boost your bag of tricks. It can reinvigorate how you do things, how you use your space and a new system can be the kick you need to get on track whether this is for work or pleasure (or both!)
Build Your Creative Muscle
That big ol' brain of ours is a wonderful thing and it can make connections and thoughts that we may not have thought of before, any kind of artist regardless of medium is the product of what has happened before. If you look at my past photos from younger, college and university years you'll notice my style and how I use the camera has evolved over time - it's matter of age, personal life / ideas, style and research all of which can influence how we see the world and how we want to capture it. On occasion we can get stuck in the same way of doing things, the same train of thought and it can feel like you've reached a dead end; building on what you've looked at before can inspire new ideas and explorations. Every muscle needs exercise including your grey matter. It can mean efficiently brainstorming new, unusual and different concepts that you haven't explored before; looking at your older ideas, your contemporaries or your heroes can inspire you a new level.
How do you find your creativity again?