5 Ways to Stay Creative

By Nicole Tinkham

There are times when creativity comes naturally. Ideas flow without much effort at all and you feel like you’re on top of the world. Until one day all of a sudden you lose that creative energy. You want to come up with a brilliant new idea but fall short and feel completely uninspired. This feeling can become overwhelming and stressful. Don’t worry though, it happens to every great artist and these tips should help you get back on track!

  1. Get away

You don’t necessarily have to run away to a secluded beach in paradise (although it wouldn’t hurt!) to get some space from your project. There are many things you can do to “get away”. For instance, read a book you can’t put down, spend time in the great outdoors, take a long drive to nowhere in particular, or sit in a coffee shop and observe people. Do whatever helps you clear your mind. Make sure wherever you go that you always have a pad of paper and pen on hand in the event creativity strikes. Most of us turn to the computer (or tablet, phone, etc.) when we need inspiration. Since you’re trying out a NEW way to obtain inspiration, avoid these devices!

  1. Team up

Used to working solo? Switch it up and brainstorm with a group of fellow artists and friends. Collaborating has many benefits. Working in a group can push/motivate you and open your eyes to a new way of looking at things, resulting in bigger and better ideas. Choose your inspiration group wisely, though. You want positive, motivating participants and everyone should have a unique style or way of thinking. If you don’t have a solid group to team up with, try commenting on creative blogs and forums to exchange ideas. Collaboration can be just the thing to get you out of a rut but it’s not for everyone. If it doesn’t work for you, just move on and try something else!

  1. Be knowledgeable

It never hurts to keep up to date on industry news, events, and happenings. Surf the internet and see what’s going on out there. If you’re unsure of where to begin, check out Keeton’s Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages. They’re updated daily with interesting facts, ideas, and articles that may inspire you. Also consider attending workshops and demos to get a different perspective from great artists. View upcoming events at Keeton’s on The Artist’s Corner. And don’t forget to sign up for The Nook to receive email updates! Internet videos can also be helpful. We recommend videos on TED Talks (presentation videos that motivate) or technique/how-to videos on Youtube (you can find pretty much anything on Youtube).

  1. Challenge yourself

Challenge yourself by learning something new. Photography is a great hobby to pick up if you haven’t done so already. It often allows you to see things in a different light which can help inspire your other work not to mention provide you with the skills needed to photograph your own artwork. The hobby you choose doesn’t have to be photography, though. Choose anything you would like to learn more about! You can also challenge yourself by setting goals. Setting goals not only keeps you thinking but also increases your problem solving skills which often leads to inspiration!

  1. Write, write, and write some more! 

No matter what you do to gain inspiration, ALWAYS bring a pad of paper and pen! You’re doing all of these things to come up with new ideas and when they strike, you’ll want to write them down immediately before they get lost in outer space. Your writing can be for personal use in a diary or journal or in the form of a blog in which you can get opinions from other professionals. Feel free to write anything that comes to mind. It can be a story, scattered ideas, nonsense, doodles, etc. Just get it out on paper! When an idea or thought is put on paper, it becomes real. From what some consider “nonsense”, a creative idea can be produced, so don’t be afraid to write it down!

While something can inspire one person, it may not inspire another. No two artists are the same and every artist finds creativity in different areas. The whole point is to try something new. If you normally jam out to your favorite tunes to gain inspiration, try working in silence. A lot of the time, you’ll find yourself in a rut due to repetition. Mix it up and you may be surprised where you find new creative ideas. Obviously, there are endless ways to get those creative juices flowing. What’s the one thing that always works for you?

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