As creatives, we all have times where we go to make/do something creative. We sit down to start, and suddenly all the motivation is gone. Just like that. This feeling is best known as creative block, and will be something all creatives experience at some point in their life. I decided to write about this today because this is something that I have personally struggled with a lot, and I known a lot of you have struggled with it too. So I thought I would explain a little more about what it is, my personal struggle with it and some strategies for getting over it.
All creative people know (or will soon know) that feeling of wanting to do your favourite hobby, sitting down to start and suddenly, boom, all your motivation and inspiration is gone. It can last for only a couple of hours, to weeks or even months. It can be extremely frustrating, stopping you from doing something you really enjoy.
I was prompted to write about this today because I’m rather experienced when it comes to creative block. I (believe it or not) enjoy several creative activities outside of model horses. I play piano/keyboard, write, draw, paint, bake, bullet journal, and design among other things. Since I have so many creative ‘outlets’ (ways I express creativity (or simply hobbies I enjoy)), I go through phases of feeling stuck in different areas of my creativity (creative block). For example, at the moment, I am really enjoying playing piano. But, every time I sit down to write the newsletter, I just can’t. Obviously, after 2 years of writing newsletters, I’ve felt this before. But when other times I pushed through it, this time, as soon as I open the word doc, the motivation dies and I suddenly would rather be doing anything else. It’s been longer and stronger than before. This is kind of why I am writing this, to explain why there has not been a newsletter in ages, and talk about creative block in general.
Now, after I’ve shared all this with you, let’s have a look at some strategies for getting over creative block
1. Problem solving
Think of something annoying in your everyday life and try and solve it by creating something. For example, something annoying in my everyday life is not having a pen and paper when I read my Bible (yep I'm Christian :D But that's a whole other thing :P) to take notes and keep my brain engaged. So, I came up with this.
It’s a leather cover for my paperback Bible with a pocket in the front to hold stationary. A creative solution to an annoying problem!
2. Plan out projects
While you’re feeling unmotivated, plan out a project you want to do completely (draw plans, identify techniques, find patterns), so when the moment comes and you’re ready to create, all the boring stuff is out of the way and you’re ready to start making! For example, I have always thought it would be cool to make a spanish saddle, but haven’t had the creative juices to actually do it. While I’m in the slump, I’ll find some patterns, do a drawing of what I want it to look like and find out how I’m actually going to do it (how the pieces work and where they all go)
3. Look for inspiration!
Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration, especially when it comes to model horses. Just google ‘model horses’ or ‘model horse tack’, or type it into Pinterest and feast your eyes on all the beautiful inspiration. When you get an idea, run with it and just start making. (I have a pinterest account with this barn inspo board to get you started ;))
4. Just start!
For minor cases of creative block, it can be best to just try and start your project. For example, just start making a simple halter, and you might end up enjoying it, and getting over your block.
5. Buy some new materials
Nothing makes me want to create more than when I’ve just bought some nice, new materials. When I bought my Rio Rondo materials, I was on fire for making stuff (as you probably saw xD) Now this doesn’t mean having to spend a lot of money. Head to a 2nd hand store and have a look around. What could you recycle into something cool? Have a look round a local craft store. What could you make out of this? Or that?
6. Take a break
For extreme cases of creative block, when you have tried the techniques above, it can be best to just take a break. This is what I’m doing at the moment. Don’t force yourself to be creative, because that can actually make you feel worse. Being creative is meant to be fun and fuelling for creative people. If it’s draining, just stop. For me, my creative mood (whether I’m feeling creative or not) is shown in the results. Have a look at this saddle when I was feeling a rush of inspiration
and this saddle that I kinda forced myself to make.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
So, if you've been feeling this creative block for a while now, don't try and force it. Take a break. It's ok, it's healthy, and you need it sometimes.
Thanks for reading this far! If you have, please give this a like, I’d love to see how many people actually read this :) I know this is a little different, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, and I hope it’s helpful. What do you guys think? Do you have any strategies for defeating creative block?