Friday, March 4, 2011

un-slumping the creative slump

I shared a few thoughts on my blog the other day regarding being in a creative slump. I thought I might share them here as well, in hopes that it might help anyone who's feeling the creative blues...

So, I took a few moments hours last night to just sit. And think. And plan. Sometimes being in the creative industry has it's ups and downs. Moments when you're feeling really inspired, and then others... not so much. But you still grind it out because things need to get done. Deadlines have to be met, and projects must be submitted.  But somehow, if you can't rediscover that inspirational spark in there, it stops being as much fun as it used to be and becomes, well - work. I really hate when this happens, and somehow, it leads me to want to crawl in a hole and not do anything creative at all. Avoid that chaos that I left the last time I created {an unorganized mess of supplies is my quickest creativity killer}, and just watch a movie or read a book.

But then I find that I'm missing out.

I'm missing that feeling of accomplishment that I get when I create something that I love. That rush of inspiration that makes you want to toss whatever you're doing aside to make something lovely. Creativity make me complete as a person - without it, something's just missing.

So today I wanted to take just a moment to share a few tips for things that I do when I find myself in the creative lurch. The dumps. A slump. Because un-slumping yourself is an important part of life, and the creative process.

Clean up your space.  I say that as I sit surrounded by boxes of unsorted supplies. But I'm speaking from experience. Not everyone is like that - but most people find it hard to work when they can't clear a space on their desk or table, and when they have to keep searching for what they're really looking for. It kills the process. The flow of the thing is gone. I try to take a few moments for clean up and organizing each time I create, and then purge out extra supplies every few months.

Don't overload on "inspiration." In the modern age that we live in, we have websites devoted to cataloging things that catch our eye {yes, I LOVE pinterest}, galleries overflowing with the creativity of others, and even phone apps that are all waiting to give us inspiration. But sometimes that's not always a good thing. Learn to set yourself limits on how much time you spend with these things. I know you've experienced that "I have so many ideas, where do I start!!" feeling that can sometimes become paralyzing. Forget it. Pick one or two ideas and make them your own. Otherwise you'll end up flipping channels on the tv.

Sometimes you just do it. No, don't force it. I mean this in a different way. Gather some supplies that you find inspiring. Don't set yourself a time limit, but set a direction. Relax. I discovered this one for the first time last night. I just started working on something. And you know what? I remembered. I remembered how relaxing creativity is to me. And how much I love it. And how good I feel when I finish something. This one is still in progress, but what can I say?
I think I re-discovered the joy that creativity gives me. And that's what it's about.


Virginia said...

I especially like the "don't overload on inspiration" one. I am a sucker for a pretty blog or pinterest or tumblr every day. I overload my brain with that stuff. I read this article earlier this week and even though it pertains to home design, I think it's really relevant for anyone in the design/creativity business.

Great thoughts and encouragement, Leah!

leah said...

What an awesome site, V! Thanks for sharing! ^_^

Glue Meets Paper said...

Great post Leah! I totally agree about the clean desk (sometime's I have to clean up in the middle of the project!)

Marie Levite said...

Awesome post! TFS.