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  • Writer's pictureNikki Dee

4 Ways to Be Creative When You Don’t Feel Like Making Art

Staying connected to your art is important, just like an athlete who needs to make time to maintain their abilities. But we aren’t always in the mood. It’s still important to push through our tired days and make time for the habit of Art more than just the enjoyment. It's one of the hardest muscles to train- creating motivation instead of waiting for it to arrive. Here are my go-to ideas to fill in those gaps to continue creating.

1. Clean, Refresh and Reorganize. This is the perfect time to get excited about the next time you’re ready to create and how easy it will be to find your supplies. Empty a drawer and reorganize, make your shopping list (or holiday wish list) of things to restock or add to your supplies. Wash brushes and sponges, and reset your tools and creative space the way you'd like them when you start a fresh new project...or two! This is a great time to take mental notes about things that need to be replaced, deeper cleaned or refilled. Bonus points? Listen to something meditative or motivational during that time that might help turn your wheels like a soundtrack, vlog or Ted talk.

2. Doodle- no rules, no expectations. Just scribble, enjoy finding good color combinations or even get our your favorite coloring book. You’re practicing the joy of creating. A bonus version of this is to create a collage. Sift through any magazine and snip out images, shapes and textures that catch your eye. Add them to a page and take the time to write out a few notes about what draws you in and how you might translate it to your medium of art. You will be surprised how some of the unplanned sketches can turn into inspiration for future pieces of work.

3. Revisit old sketchbooks. Spend some time flipping through and re-validate some of the skills you’ve learned, squired and developed. We often are so focused on making the next best thing that we can lose confidence. Revisit sketchbooks or photos of previous projects that made you feel proud, celebrated and bolstered. You’d be surprised at how it may spark some fresh ideas and inspiration for your next piece and remind you of all the wonderous things you've already made and the people you've inspired along the way. As you see previous works, think about the key themes and words you would use to describe your style. Bonus points? Take screenshots or write down some of the positive responses you've gotten from friends, family and fans!

4. Watch a very unusual or inspirational show. Try to stay away from your usual screen time and watch something that will challenge your creativity. My go-to is Cirque du Soleil, always a combination of beauty, power and wacky combinations of concepts. I'm currently enjoying a free episode on Youtube featuring pieces from Kurios, "O" and Luzia. It injects ideas that wouldn't normally come across my day like music from Mexico in the 1950s, dresses entirely made out of camera parts and the fluorescent colors of deep underwater life. Feel inspired and try to focus entirely on the experience as it unfolds.

Thank you for joining me on another blog! Do you have other suggestions for ways to be creative when you aren't up for art? Let me know in the comments below!

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