All creatives have one thing in common - the ability to create. It’s the very essence of what we are. When we’re not creating, we are thinking about creating and it’s just one big, endless cycle.
Project after project, we give more of ourselves to art. As we gain more experience and explore ways to show the world what we have to offer, we naturally encounter periods of burn-out.
Though it may not seem like the case, every creative at some point has, or will experience burn-outs. In such moments, you might truly believe that you have nothing more within you to give… nothing new and shiny to offer the world.
Sadly, that torturous belief can make you lose the drive and the power to create. It could last for a short period of time or it could linger for so long that you won’t be able to see an end to the tunnel.
Nevertheless, there are ways to reignite your spark and eventually burn that wretched belief to ash. Let’s explore some;
1. Take a Break
The first thing you need to do when you feel uninspired to make art is to take a break. During periods of burn-out, you expend more energy when you let guilt and thoughts of pending work nip at your conscience, and consume your mind.
So, stop thinking about the work you’re not doing. It’s not going to get the work done. You also know in that moment that you are too drained to get right to it and get it over with. Hence, there’s no point dwelling on it.
I know it’s easier said than done but you have to try.
Stop encouraging the negative thoughts and emotions associated with the ordeal. Distract yourself with other things you like to do for a while if you have to.
2. Change Your Scenery
Yes, I said “Take a break.” However, it’s important to bear in mind that the break is only temporary. The goal is to rise up again. So, don’t just sit in your room all day, every single day of your “break” watching movies, eating chips and counting sheep like some couch potato.
You have to switch things up.
Start by rearranging or decorating your room for a change of scenery. You could put up wallpapers or framed art prints to animate your space.
If you can’t find inspiration in your room, then you have to go outside. Interact with people, nature and art splashed everywhere. It’s hard to tell what exactly will give you an “Eureka!” moment but you have to actively seek it out.
Take yourself to new places, leave your comfort zone, but please don’t hole up in your room wallowing in self-pity.
3. Look at Your Past Projects
One thing that could help you crawl out of a creative block is looking at your past projects. Try to relive the creative process of each one. Remember what inspired them, how you felt while you were in your zone and the feeling of satisfaction that made your heart full each time you completed them.
Also, try to remember the positive words and compliments they stirred up from people. All those things can help trigger your artistic spark.
4. Talk to Other Creatives
To find inspiration, you could try meeting and talking to other creatives. Chances are, they have been through what you’re facing right now. In that case, they can give you some pointers on how to overcome it.
Even if their suggestions don’t help you solve the problem, the mere fact that you expressed your pains to people who relate to them is enough to get you on the track to a fast recovery. They say, a problem shared is a problem half-solved. You’ll feel heard and that in itself is a win in its own right.
5. Take the Bull by the Horn
The easiest and ironically the seemingly hardest way to ignite your artistic spark is to immerse yourself in art. Just create stuff and allow yourself to enjoy the process. Don’t fixate on the idealistic notion of what the end result should be.
Once you have that mindset, your creativity will go beyond its usual borders because subconsciously, you give yourself permission to incorporate new and different approaches in your creative process.
Hopefully, while you do this, you might find the inspiration you need to create something you can proudly present to the world.
Bear in mind that there’s really no formula to igniting your artistic spark. What works for Peter might not work for Paul. It’s up to you to discover by trying out different remedies.
However, you should probably seek out professional help if your lack of inspiration and drive persist. There might be some underlying factors relating to your mental health that have created the creative block.