7 Things To Do When You Feel Uninspired
Feeling stuck and uninspired in my art process is probably one of the things I hate most. It doesn‘t take long and I overthink every decision I ever made in and for my creative business so far.
Especially as artists, we think inspiration needs to be present all the time.
So in this blog post, I want to show you how I find inspiration in mundane, everyday life. I got stuck so many times and thought it only happens to me because I‘m not good enough as an artist. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
But this post isn‘t about the negativity of art block and feeling uninspired. We all need this to be positive, inspiring, and motivational. And mostly easily accessible.
I want to share with you my go-to‘s for finding inspiration. Tips you can implement in your daily life activities. Things you can start right now.
Can you relate? It doesn‘t matter if you‘re a painter, ceramicist, or anything else creative or non-creative. If you want the fast and compressed variant, you can download the list of my 7 fave ways to gather inspiration in everyday life right here.
For me, inspiration and motivation go hand in hand, at least most of the time.
I am the typical introvert, just as you imagine an introvert. The hours in my art studio are my favorite time of the week. It is my safe space.
1. go outdoors
Going outdoors is always a good idea for gathering inspiration. Whenever I am actively looking for inspiration I like to look for specific things. This helps me be more alert. It doesn‘t matter if you’re on a car or bus ride or you're in the forest.
Look for: shapes, forms, colors, textures, light, shadow and sounds
2. be present
Most of you probably don’t know, but when I graduated from school I did an apprenticeship as a childcare provider. In general, I think this role doesn’t play too much into my creative process.
But there‘s definitely one thing it always reminds me of all the kids I cared for over the past twelve years. Their curiosity.
Observing them react to every little noise. Whether it‘s birds singing outside, the garbage truck beeping as it moves backward, or admiring leaves blowing in the wind. Sometimes it takes me a little to recognize what they are hearing or pointing at.
We all could use a bit of childish curiosity. It always reminds me to be more present in the moment. This is something you can implement very easily, like right now. What do you hear? How does it sound?
This tip goes well with the first of the list, but instead of looking for something specific, just be open to seeing and hearing things we normally wouldn‘t perceive in our busy adult life.
3. collect things
I like to collect things that remind me of something. This could be as simple as a flower you pick or buying a pretty postcard. It doesn‘t matter what you want to collect as long as you have a connection and feel inspired by it.
This could be about colors, textures, patterns, memories and so much more. For example, I love raw, earthy, and natural textures. This could be some sort of stone or a beautiful ceramic espresso mug. I guess I‘m a very tactile person. I even have a secret Pinterest board all about textures. This is probably also the reason why I prefer oil paint over acrylic.
4. taking lots of pictures and videos
Some things we can not collect. In fact, some of my favorite things are not collectible as things, but I always can take pictures and videos.
For example, I love how clouds form, how the sun sets or rises, the sound of raindrops sprinkling into the lake and so much more. Oh and not to forget some good summer storms. One thing I sadly can not capture are smells, like the smell of rain on a warm summer day. But I always look forward to things like that. I try to capture the energy and moment as accurately as possible.
Taking pictures isn‘t only in nature, this could also be in museums or other places you find inspiration.
5. go for a walk - alone
This is something I do quite often, but it only works when I am on my own. It doesn‘t work for me when someone’s with me. I need to be completely on my own or else I can‘t focus enough to dig deeper in my mind.
Go for a walk, just walk and be in your mind. When I struggle to find the right thoughts I ask myself some questions.
This could be something along the lines of:
What is your overall goal?
What is your goal for the next few months or weeks?
What does it mean to me to paint xyz?
How would my dream life look like and how do I get there?
6. write a lot
As a kid I hated writing, I didn‘t want to do it at all. Don’t ask me why, probably because I was afraid of the outcome or getting bad grades. I always made my brother write my essays or at least I tried. ;) Somewhen over the years I developed a system I really loved for structuring my texts and I still to this day work with it. Even with this blog post.
I don’t know if you could call it that, but today it is some kind of meditation to me. It helps me so much to clear my mind and often times when I write about my sorrows I am automatically looking for solutions and write them down. Even if I‘m not going after them, it is the start of problem-solving.
7. bring your sketchbook
Well, I‘m most likely not the best example for this one and I did feel bad for this many times before. I call myself an artist and I don’t like the idea of filling sketchbook after sketchbook and bringing it everywhere I go.
But what I love is sketching. I love sketching so much. Just scribbling around without any pressure on the outcome. I always have some type of notebook with me, I just don‘t have a dedicated „sketchbook“.
Even though I don‘t have one specific sketchbook I absolutely see the inspiration it brings me.