It happens to everyone. We have a burst of creativity and want to go out and conquer the world. We also have those times where there is no inspiration in sight and it feels like we’re pulling teeth to squeeze out one drop of our creative capabilities.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that sometimes I stare at my computer for minutes just thinking. Or I pick up my pencil and look at the paper and am frozen with lack of ideas and creativity. So if you can relate, I’ve come up with a list of everyday things that never fail to inspire me, not only in creativity but also in life and looking at the bigger picture. So I hope this list helps you so when you’re at a point where you don’t know how to push back through the creative mental block you can do one of these things for a little boost.
1. Check out a good Instagram Feed
So I do have someone's feed in mind. His name is Jeremy Cowart, famous celebrity, entertainment and portrait photographer. His feed and what he says in his feed are downright uplifting and inspiring. His photography is crammed with gorgeous depth and artistic creativity – I’m always inspired by his framing, posing and colors. If you’re looking for some beautiful photographic work of mostly portraits I would encourage you to check out his feed and to get the creative juices flowing @jeremycowart. And if you feel inspired by someone else's IG, by all means, go to theirs to get your creative fix.
2. Visit a local art gallery
It’s always fun to go see local artists work. In Kansas City we have something called First Fridays where galleries and shops open their doors the first Friday of every month. Not only does it give you the opportunity to see some super cool art but a lot of the time the artist are there and it’s always a treat to talk with them, hear their perspective and ask questions about their work. Sometimes getting into the mind of another creative is helpful to your own creative path.
It may not seem like an inspiring thing to do, but writing things down, including your feelings and ideas is like clearing a mental road-block. I know we all approach things differently but if you’re stuck, I encourage you to write down where you’re at, how you’re feeling and what’s going on. Sometimes that really helps break down those walls that block inspiration.
4. Silence / Meditation
Taking a break from the chaos of a busy day can be very soul-refreshing. Just sitting down and letting your mind wander and giving yourself space to think and be is a beautiful thing. This is definitely something that you can do at any time of the day. Take several long, deep breaths, close your eyes, be still and let the creativity come!
I don’t know about you, but a little tradition my sister and I have had for many years now is hand-making our own calendars for the year. They end up looking like scrap-book calendars but I love them. And for you this may be different but doing a project that is something you can look at daily can remind you of your creativity and inspire you to do more.
6. Travel Magazines
Something that really gets me inspired is travel. And being able to read about the adventures of someone, or the landscape itself brings a sense of awe, wonder and inspired thinking. I would encourage you to give it a try!
7. Real life Travel
Nothing can compare to traveling in real life. If you’re looking for true and deep-down inspiration I would encourage you to travel. Experiencing new people, places and cultures will change your perspective and widen your scope of creativity. And to scale it down if traveling isn’t on the table, take a new way home. Take an exit you don’t normally take and get a new perspective and some fresh eyes to see the surroundings of your environment.
8. Online Photography Library
Photography is the one thing that gets me inspired the fastest. There’s many website galleries out there but the one that is a go to for me is www.unsplash.com. The site is simple to navigate and the screen is taken up by gorgeous, high quality photos. Sometimes it’s fun to just go there and browse. I walk away inspired every time. Did I mention those photos are free?
9. Paint Swatches
This one might seem a little strange, but as you know my husband and I are in the middle of renovating our new house and so when we were picking out paint colors I was so surprised to see that simply the names of the paint colors were inspiring. Have you read some of them lately? They have names like Intuative Gray, Twirling Girl, Smoky Purple, Morning Fog, Past and Present, Raven Wing, Dovetail, Swimming, Refresh, Adored, Blush and Bashful and Lotus Flower. Just reading those names made me so inspired to do something with each color. Some of the names, like Rebellious, is hard to know what color it is, but it’s so fun to read those. So next time you’re around your neighborhood Lowe’s, check out their paint department, look at some swatches and be inspired. Do you know what color Rebellious is? Wanna take a guess?
The ever-constant inspirational stomping grounds. This is imagery at it’s best and it’s always inspiring to see what interior designers are doing, or looking at watercolor paintings, or even how to organize your office. Pinterest will continue to be a place where I find inspiration and excitement to create something.
11. Chef’s Table, Netflix Original Series
Ok, have you seen this show? If not, you need to. Seriously, this is the most beautiful thing Netflix has ever produced (in my mind). Not only are the stories of these amazing chefs completely inspiring, but the videography, the music... the entire series is a work of art and anyone looking for some entertaining and mind-blowing creative ventures should watch it.
12. Read about someone legendary
I know this sounds cliche but the truth is, that reading about inspiring people gets you inspired. Reading about the lives of people who have truly made a difference in the world such as Steve Jobs opens your mind up to what’s bigger, what’s possible and helps put things in perspective.
Taking some time to get outside and have your hands in the dirt whether it be weeding, planting or watering has a way of clearing your mind and giving your inspiration for creativity. I don’t know what it is about gardening but it’s one of those things that gets you in touch with nature and gives your mind time to rest and be opened.
14. Take a risk
This could be something drastic like sky-diving but it also could be something little like trying something new on a menu. Taking risks opens up your channels for creativity and can parallel to your work. Taking risks with your craft or doing something in new way can be invigorating and help spur on a whole new creative venture.
15. Blindside, movie
This may be on the side of spiritual or an outward-focused mindset, but this movie is so inspiring to me. It’s believing in something and someone and seeing the good. This is more of a life-inspiring thing but can also be seen with creativity in the fact that, try to see the good in your work. Don’t always be down on yourself. And give back – you don’t know how many people it might impact.
16. Make something from scratch
My sister-in-law loves baking. Baking from scratch just sounds like so much work! It doesn’t come natural to me but I commend people who love it. Making something from scratch, whether it be cupcakes or a piece of furniture gives you an incredible sense of accomplishment and encouragement to continue the creative process in other areas.
17. Do what you love
For those of us who are doing the thing we love as a side-hustle or full-time job it can be draining to our creativity. Sometimes you need to go back to what you really love and make something for yourself, rather than a parade of endless clients. If you want some inspiration go back to the basics and do what you love, whether it be coloring in a coloring book, planting some flowers, dancing salsa, whatever the case may be, it’s always good to go back to what you really love and do it for yourself once in a while.
18. Time management
Although this may seem like the most boring thing and how can this tie into creativity, but it totally does. Giving yourself blocks of time to accomplish something can really push you into being creative and find ways to make things work. Especially when you’ve put a self-imposed deadline on your time to create. You may be amazed at what you can get done.
19. Keep the end goal in mind
If you’re like me and you’re wanting to use your abilities and talents to support you full time, it can be daunting and seemingly overwhelming to make the leap. I elaborate on the on a key factor to keeping the end goal in mind in this post. But keeping your eyes on the prize, remembering what your goals are, can keep you inspired and motivated to keep going and not give up. Even when you’ve hit a creative mental block, it can be the motivator to keep you going forward.
20. Just do it
Taking photos, designing logos or baking cakes – whatever it is that you’re doing and you feel you’ve lost inspiration, sometimes you just need to push through and do your craft even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re trying to write a blog post and you feel no inspiration, sometimes you just need to write about what you’re wearing, how you’re feeling, what your week looks like – anything to get you writing. And once you start you can gain momentum. And this can be done in any area. Sit yourself down and do it. The inspiration will come. I promise.
I hope at least one thing encourages you and helps you find inspiration. It’s tough when you feel like you’re completely dry of anything creative but these inexpensive and mostly free ways of getting some creativity back have been really helpful to me and I hope they help you too.
Remember, think big picture, go back to the basics, do what you love, let yourself try new things and experiment.
Did you find this helpful?
What’s something you do that keeps you inspired?
Which tip do you think will help your creativity grow?