Tips for artists #6: how to overcome a creative block
Like many artists, I have often experienced creative blocks. At first, it was really hard, but I’ve come to know what to do and what not to do in this kind of situation. So I thought sharing my experience and advice with you would be a good idea.
Don’t force yourself to create.
I used to force myself to have ideas and create. It was completely silly.
When I ran out of ideas and absolutely wanted to create, I would sit at my desk, open my notebook and write down whatever came to mind. It never worked. Actually, it always led to something uninteresting. Like, for example, a photograph that wasn’t convincing, or that didn’t fit in with the rest of the series.
After seeing the results, I decided not to force myself anymore. I decided that inspiration and ideas would come spontaneously, even if it meant taking the risk of going a long time without creating something.
This is the best solution, because now, when I have ideas, I know I like them and I want to turn them into photographs.
And I know now what can lead me to these ideas.
Watch films, read books, go out, visit exhibitions, and listen to music.
One of the best ways to find inspiration is to be curious and look at what other artists have done. Let’s be clear: don’t plagiarise, just let yourself be carried away by these artworks and see what they make you feel or imagine.
I therefore strongly recommend that you watch films, read books, go out, listen to music and visit exhibitions. They may or may not be related to the themes you are working on. In any case, it will subconsciously give you ideas.
For example, my photos are quite cinematic, and when I watch films I like to pay attention to how the images were made. I also like to read books because I always visualise the scenes and characters. I like that because it works the same way for my work: my ideas come as images in my mind, then I draw them and write stories about them.
I recently created a photography workshop for my students. I decided to tell them about some photographers and, unconsciously, this gave me new ideas. It wasn’t forced, it came naturally like, “yeah, I should do this”, and I really liked what I came up with. Also, drawing these ideas and writing things about them made me happy, because being creative always makes me feel good. And I know it all happened because I was studying other artists’ work.
You may have heard this advice before. I wrote this article because it really works. It takes time, but it always works in the end.