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  • Writer's pictureSarah Loutfi

Heckin' Stuck... How do I get unstuck?! Pt. 2

So yesterday we covered what can cause an artist to get stuck in the creative process. I wanted to create an idea of how to get unstuck from the situations I mentioned yesterday. So, lets get into it.

#1 - It's Not Selfish To Turn Down Work

Whether paid or unpaid. For a friend, not for a friend. It's not selfish to say that your art is just for you (and by extension, the people who your art resonates with). It's arguably more selfish to ask the creative in your life to do work 'because they like to create art', for no monetary value.

If there is some overlap, like you're excited about the creative project (kind of like when my husband Adam requested an ancient Egyptian family portrait for his Egyptian family in my style) but it will take you away from your usual process of work, understand that there will be a context switching currency that you have to pay. It might be worth it to take on the project and there's other ways to get back into making your own projects.

#2 - Creative Challenges

In a funk after context switching. Start a creative challenge! Or create one for yourself. Often creativity flourishes within constraint. Thought processes like the following "I'll draw 100 hands..." and by 50 hands your mind starts to look for more intriguing things... what are the hands doing, what are the hands interacting with, what are the shapes of the hands conveying, how can I push the gesture? This is a great example of pushing past the creative boundary into a new one. Once the juice is flowing again, getting back into your project will be easier.

#3 - Lack of Inspiration

Try to ignore things that offer immediate 'productivity' satisfaction. Video games, movies, TV shows and the like can offer a nice hit of positive emotions that satisfies an immediate need. The problem with this is that it doesn't always provide the inspiration you need to keep moving on your own projects. You can get stuck in time wasting loops. Creativity often finds you working (see #2) so you sometimes need to push past a lack of inspiration and just get to work. Sometimes inspiration can come from external sources, but for most people it comes from within. Just start doodling! You never know what shapes are going to be interesting and that could inspire a whole new body of work. Inspiration is usually the result of play, so go out there and play!

#4 - Get Balanced

Take a day! Everyone needs a day. Spend it with family. Go for a walk. Cook yourself a delicious and nutritious meal. Take a nap. Read a book. Write in your journal. Light a candle. Unplug. Get things right with your inner self. Your art self will thank you for taking the time.

#5 - Moving Past Your Art Comfort Zone

Understand there is a time and place for pushing past your comfort zone in art. If you feel like its getting into procrastination zone, take a beat on it. Otherwise, enjoy the process until you get where you need to in your art so you can get that big project done and accept that it might just take you a little bit of time. ;-)



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