So what do you do when your creativity stalls? When you stare at a blank canvas, computer screen, or lump of clay, and you have no idea what to do about it? Here are some techniques I've picked up through books, seminars, and life.
Instead of sitting there feeling discouraged, take a walk. There's something about blue skies and green grass (or gray skies and brown branches, as is the case in Kentucky today) that frees the mind and spirit.
Talk It Out
Find a good ear and talk about what you'd like to accomplish with your art. This works particularly well for writers. I remember once sitting down with a co-worker to complain that I just couldn't get an article right. "What are you trying to say?" she asked. I told her. "Why don't you write it just like that?" she said. I felt so stupid, but this technique works so well that it became a regular activity for our creative team. This one works because we already know what we want to do, but sometimes we don't know that we know.
Try on a New Hat
Sometimes we're blocked creatively because we're stuck in a rut. We're tired of doing the same thing over and over again. So, be creative, but in a different way. Try a different art form: dance, write a poem, pull out your children's play-doh, or get out your camera and take pictures of your neighborhood.
Be Someone Else
One fun way to overcome creativity block is to pretend that you're someone else. If Bill Gates were an artist, how would he approach the project you're working on? What if you were Walt Disney? or Andy Warhol? or Spock?
Look for Inspiration
I'm often inspired by the work of others, so when I'm blocked I start hitting the galleries (on line and in real life) and pulling out books and magazines. In fact, it was the work of Nick Bantock that inspired me to try digital art. I was reading his wonderful book on collage, Urgent 2nd Class, when it occurred to me that I might be able to duplicate some of his effects in Photoshop. That was three years ago, and I've been creating ever since.
Take a Break
Sometimes, nothing seems to break the block. That's when it's time to walk away and just do something else, anything else. Bake some bread, read a book, write in your journal, go out to lunch with friends. Give yourself permission to take some time off. The muse will return, and when it does your mind will be rested and you'll be ready to create.
What are your tips for breaking creativity block? I'd love to hear them.