As an artist, it can sometimes be difficult to find inspiration to continue making you art, whatever that may be. Sometimes, nothing in your life seems to move you enough to drive you to make your art and your creative well keeps coming up dry. This is a problem many artists run into, and is not something to be afraid of. Writer’s or artist’s block does not mean you are a bad writer or artist, it only means you are human.
One of my top tips is to simply keep creating. When you find yourself in a creative lull, sometimes the best thing to do is to work through it. That is not to say you should push yourself too hard when you need a break, but if you keep going and going with what you are passionate about, something spectacular is sure to appear at some point. My suggestion is to try making little things instead of big things. If you usually write stories, try to write a single scene. If you’re a poet, try a simple haiku.
Try looking around at your friends. If you have a friend or family member that inspires you, try making art or writing about them. You could even interview them and pretend you are writing a biography. You could also create directly for your friends and family. Often, a friend’s tattoo commission or poem about my mom has gotten me out of an art block.
Another tip is to consume media that inspires you. I recently read ‘A Tale for the Time Being’ for my Ethnic Literature class with Professor Cristina Rhodes and found myself incredibly inspired to make art based on the book. Whether it is a movie, a television show or music, you can surely find something that resonates with you. Try recycling: make a painting based on the sound of your favorite song or write a retelling of a scene you did not like so much in a movie. You can use others’ art to fuel yours.
You can also try taking a look out the window or possibly taking a walk. Nature is a great space in which to be creative and the natural beauty outside can provide a lot of inspiration for lines of poetry or linework in an art piece. Take a closer look at a leaf or a flower, look at its petals or veins. Try sketching your interpretation of them, or writing a few lines using a tree as a setting. Use what is around you outside to find a spark inside you.
Always take the time to look around you and try to find inspiration before giving up. Maybe it is an especially beautiful, blossoming spring tree or a picture you took of your best friend. Maybe it is a bowl of soup or the ending of a sad song. Never give up. Inspiration could be hiding around any corner, you just have to know how to look for it.
The Slate welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.