I’ve just signed up for The Sketchbook Project. And by just signed up, I mean I just received my sketchbook in the mail and I’m anxiously awaiting an idea to hit me. If you are unfamiliar with it, the gist of it goes like this. You’re sent a sketchbook, fill the sketchbook by January 15th and send it back. It travels the country in an exhibition, and is put into a permanent collection in Brooklyn. I’m. In. Love.
I’ve never been able to fill an entire sketchbook, so I’m up to the challenge. I’m also really hoping it’ll put that creative spark under my ass to get me motivated. I go through highs and lows both physically, emotionally and creatively. I’d like to say every few months, but sometimes it’s even every month. It’s hard to hold on when you feel yourself slipping down that spiral of a creative funk. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I use to try and grab on and pull myself out of it.
Turn off the tv. When I’m feeling unmotivated, and in a funk it’s really easy for me to turn on a movie, or a tv series and just get sucked away for hours. Before I know it, it’s bed time and I haven’t gotten a single thing done. As soon as I start to feel that “blah” feeling creeping in, I stay away from that on button. I’ll sit in a different room away from the TV, with as much natural light as possible. I also try to keep electronics away in general. It’s just as easy to get sucked into internet-land and never find the end of it. I make it a point to spend limited time online each day, as well as days when I’m not feeling up to my creative potential. The weekends, and Sundays specifically, I put down my phone and very rarely touch it. It’s great to block out interference and just live in whats happening now.
Do something inspiring. Take a walk. Start a collage. Go look around pinterest for new recipes or projects to get your hands dirty with. When I’m feeling extra stagnant, like I’m sitting still and everything is just rushing past me, it’s hard for me to remember to do just the simplest of things that can really keep your creativity going.
Read. It took me a long time to realize the types of books that really grab my interest. Once I’m engrossed in a book, I find it really inspiring. I’ll read about someone finding their passion, going on strange adventures and meeting new individuals. It’s a great source to draw out inspiration.
Write. Right at this moment, I have somewhere around 3 blogs. I have this one that I keep for public consumption, and two others that are more risque in nature. If you don’t have a blog, get a journal. Open up a new word document and just start typing. One exercise I’m very fond of is setting a timer for 5 minutes and writing everything, and nothing at all in that time. I just let my mind open up and everything pour out. The more I write, the more open I feel to motivation.
Listen to music. Or rather, new music. I get stuck in a rut of listening to the same music over and over again, and while of course I love the music I listen to, I forget how essential it is to introduce new material now and again. Go on youtube and watch a video of a song you like, then look at the related videos. Get sucked down that rabbit hole and you may just find some new and inspiring stuff.
Get some quiet time. On the other end of the spectrum, I forget how precious silence is. I’m completely guilty of walking into the house and putting on music or a movie so I don’t have to wander around without any background noise. More often than I like to admit, I get sucked into all this noise. It prevents me from reading, getting some writing done, or generally just reflecting on my inner thoughts. Try turning off all the background noise and see what you have to say.
I’m sure I could go on forever, but those are some of the biggest tricks I use to center myself and get my creativity up there. Do you have any tricks you use? Tell me about them!