Today Top Ten Tuesday brings you ten tips how to overcome
Creative block or artist’s block is something I am sure all creative people have experienced at one point or another in their lives. Sometimes you just feel burnt out or you don’t have a clue what to do next. Here are some great ways to get over this hump and get your creative juices flowing again.
1. Take a break
Get out of the studio and get away from your project for a while. Forget about it. It doesn’t have to be for a long time – just a relaxing evening with friends or family, a dinner in a restaurant, a trip to the movie theater or even an evening spent in front of the TV can be like hitting the reset button.
Get some fresh air, go to the park or to the beach, walk the bustling city streets or even go to the mall (not so much fresh air there of course). Smell the flowers, look at the trees, watch the sunset. Ride your bike or go for a run.
2. Clean up your studio
Fondle the fabric and look at the colors of your threads. Often enough this will get your creative juices flowing again.
3. Have a project ready
„Hey“ I hear you saying, „I’m stuck. I can’t imagine what to do. Don’t talk about a project to me.“ I know, I know. But be prepared for a creative block. I have a hexagon quilt on the backburner – it’s in a nice box (because it will take a long time) and when I don’t know what to do I get out some paper hexies and start to baste fabric around them. So I get something done until I can think of a new exciting project.
4. Browse your books
Don’t tell me that you have no quilting books – you would be a rare exception. Browse your quilting books, your magazine stack or all the show catalogues you have accumulated.
5. Sew a traditional quilt
Even if you only want to do original art – if you experience an artist’s block sewing a traditional quilt might be a solution. You cut hundreds of squares or triangles (preferably from your stash) and sew them together assembly line – not much thinking involved. And while your hands are busy your mind will start to wander, inspired by the colors and the texture under your needle – some of my best ideas were born this way. (By the way the same applies for hand quilting.) And you will have a cuddly quilt for yourself or as a gift or for charity.
6. Go to a quilt show
Make it a point to visit at least one or two quilt shows each year. All the wonderful quilts, the artists, the colors, the like-minded people (who are always ready for a chat) will refill, recharge and refresh you.
7. Make an inspirational box
This can be a real box, a folder, a manila envelope or a file on your computer. In there goes everything that you like – pictures from magazines or from promotional materials, fabric swatches, drawings or sketches, photos, … Look at all the goodies in the box when you are stuck – maybe you will find the perfect color combination or a long forgotten design.
A virtual inspirational box for me is Pinterest. Pin everything you like – not only quilts but colors, forms and inspiration as well. Have a look at Quiltartnews’ Pinterest page https://www.pinterest.com/quiltartnews/
8. Try a new medium
Forget about the fabric and treat yourself to a sketchbook and some markers. Start doodling or sketching or painting. Did you see all those new adult coloring books? They are great to simply rest your brain. Or take a camera and shoot whatever you find appealing.
9. Look at other art
Go to a museum or an exhibition of art.
Visit a big book store and go to the art or photography section and browse all the books that appeal to you.
Or go online and look at paintings or sculptures.
Go hear live music.
10. Do some tutorials
Find a YouTube video showing a new technique.
Enroll in a class or an online workshop.
Look at the Internet – you will find more than you can do in your lifetime.
These are my Top Ten Tips for conquering a creative block. What do you do if you have to fight artist’s block? Tell us in the comment section.