How to get artistic inspiration: overcoming creative blocks

I think every artist encounters creative blocks at some point in their journey. These periods of stagnation can feel frustrating, but they can also be opportunities for growth and rediscovery if you change the way you think about them. If you’re wondering how to get artistic inspiration back in your life here are some practical strategies that I’ve found helpful in the past. (Prefer audio? No problem click here to listen to this podcast episode.)

Step Back and Breathe

Firstly it’s important to remember that creative blocks are a natural part of the artistic journey. So try not to stress. Instead of battling what might only be a small bump on the road, why not take a breather? Use this as a moment to relax, recharge, and ponder. You never know, this break away from actually creating art could open your eyes to fresh, new and exciting possibilities.

Change Your Environment

This might also be the perfect time to switch up your surroundings. Whenever I think of doing this I think of the scene in Calamity Jane when Doris Day and her new bestie spruce up Jane’s dilapidated home. I always remember feeling so motivated to go and clean my bedroom after watching that scene as a child! Giving your workspace a fresh new look could be just the thing to spark your creativity. Or take yourself out of your usual workspace for a complete change of scene by taking your sketchbook to the park. Start exploring different places and see if they help inspire your creative juices to flow.

Dive into Art History

Taking some time out to explore art history and your favourite artists can be so rewarding! You could curl up with your favourite art books or take a trip to a museum (virtually if a trip to the real thing isn’t feasible). Do whatever works for you. Taking time to explore in this way can be a great reminder of what you love about art and in particular what style of art gets you feeling inspired. And of course through this exploration you might discover new artists, styles and techniques that you might want to try. This can sometimes be just the spark we need to get us back in the studio.

Experiment with New Mediums

Sometimes the cause of our block might be our favourite art mediums. We can find ourselves in a bit of a rut using the same mediums in the same way every day. So try something new. Experimenting with fresh materials or techniques can open up a whole new world of expression. Whether it’s digital art, sculpture, or mixed media, start playing around with different tools and see where this exploration takes you. Again it could be a source of some very unexpected sparks of inspiration.

Connect with Fellow Artists

Artistic inspiration often comes from exchanging ideas with others so it’s a great idea to join some art communities, be it online or in-person. They can be a fantastic source of support and fresh new perspectives. I have a new Facebook group called Bold Brushes and Brave Hearts created to help support artists in their journey and gain confidence sharing their art online and in person.

If you’re interested click here to join.

Set Small, Achievable Goals

You might be feeling blocked because you’re overwhelmed with everything you have to do.

When a project feels overwhelming, it can significantly dampen creativity and motivation. But there are techniques you can use to break big projects down into smaller tasks (in fact I have a mini course that shows you the way I do this using Agile Delivery techniques). Getting on top of that to do list, breaking things down into mini-goals and starting to tick things off can be just what you need to get out of that creative rut!

Seek Inspiration in Daily Life

Remember too that inspiration is everywhere, even in the simplest parts of our day-to-day lives. Whether you’re out on a leisurely walk, cooking something in the kitchen, or belting out your favourite tunes, immerse yourself fully in the moment. These experiences have the power to fuel your artistic spirit in unexpected ways, unleashing creativity and innovation with a fresh perspective.

Embrace New Learning Opportunities

Sometimes picking up a new skill or technique is just what you need to spark your creative juices. You could enrol in a workshop in your area or take an online course. It can be a great way to add some variety to your skills and you might find yourself discovering a brand new passion.

Reflect and Journal

Journaling can be a great tool to use during a creative block and can really help you as you ask yourself how to find artistic inspiration. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You may discover that the simple act of writing things down can lift your creative block, igniting a spark for your next exciting project.

Remember, It’s a Phase

Lastly, always remember, creative blocks are just small bumps in the road. Being patient, taking some time out and maybe exploring some new things, will help you find your way back to artistic inspiration. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Overcoming creative blocks is an integral part of the artistic journey and by learning how to get artistic inspiration you’re also developing resilience and flexibility in your practice. Every artist goes through highs and lows and it’s navigating through them that helps us grow and evolve in our art.