Learn to rest, not to quit.
Easier said than done, am I right?!
If (or should I say when?) you get exhausted and creativity becomes a struggle or frustration, step back. Don’t give up! You can always take a break, try something different, and search for more sources or inspiration.
Here are some things to try when you feel like quitting:
-Look for new inspiration in other artists, in nature, or on Pinterest.
I feel that I should start this off by saying that I am not suggesting you copy anyone else’s art. I am suggesting that you find inspiration. I prefer looking for artists with different mediums or styles than me, but a similar heart or purpose. For example, I mainly do brush calligraphy but I find a lot of inspiration through illustrators, graphic designers, and style bloggers. I search for colors, designs, photography, and words that speak to me!
I feel that searching for other types of artists helps me to think out of the box, but it also helps me to stay away from comparison. I have found that comparing my work to other people has always drained my creativity. It has made me feel less than and taken the joy out of art. As Lara Casey says, “Living on purpose turns comparison and coveting into compassion and cheering on. When you are living on purpose, it doesn’t matter what someone else’s journey looks like. We are all in this together.”
-Look through some of your earliest creations
Even if you’ve only been working on calligraphy (or whatever creative outlet you’ve been trying!) for a few months, if you look back at all you’ve created you will find some progress! Notice that what we are looking for here is NOT extreme progress, advanced skill level, or perfection – we are only look for SOME progress.
Here is an example from my own brush calligraphy experience.
-Revisit the goals/purpose of your creative business or hobby
Sometimes when I’m feeling frustrated or drained of creativity, I find that I’ve lost focus on what’s important. It’s easy to get caught up in so many different things: Instagram followers, Etsy sales, Facebook likes, and so many other things. But none of these things are the reason you started this creative endeavor in the first place.
Pause and think about it. Why did you start this hobby? What has kept you pursuing it?
For me, I started calligraphy in an effort to relieve some stress. Over the last few years, it has consistently been a wonderful way for me to relax. I started teaching other people the art of brush calligraphy because I want to share that joy and rest with as many others as I can! This is the focus. Think back on why you started and revisit those initial moments of joy!
-Try a new/different hobby
Another great way to fuel creativity is through trying something new. Once I started my career as a first grade teacher, I started to lose some enthusiasm for calligraphy and focus on the wrong things. I would post my creations and wonder why no one liked what I was making. It was stripped of joy and I felt like there was nothing I could do.
I decided to take a watercolor floral class (and ended up also going to a Monvoir Workshop!) and found a renewed excitement for color theory and design. I also signed up for a cookie decorating class, which used my skills in another way. It also showed me that it was fun to challenge myself (I’m not a very consistent baker). I’ve also recently signed up for the #HOMwork challenges, which is full of prompts meant to challenge you creatively.
And, in most cases, I came running back to calligraphy because I’ve found it’s something that I’m good at. But I come back with a new variety of skills and understandings that can be used to improve my art!
-Step back, don’t create, and come back when you’re ready!
There is nothing wrong with taking a break. Especially when you really need it. Don’t push yourself to create when you are totally drained. Come back when you feel that joy again. This might be a week, it could be a month, or even longer.
Taking a break will remove a lot of that pressure that you keep putting on yourself. You don’t need to choose the length before you start. When you feel ready, pick it back up again!
None of these methods are perfect, but they are good to try when you’re feeling creatively drained. It takes a lot of energy to be creative. Don’t let yourself burn out!
I’d love to hear from you!
What are your favorite ways to conquer creative block?
Leave a COMMENT below or come SHARE on this post!
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