Thursday, June 16, 2011

10 Ways To Break A Creative Slump!!!

Do you ever feel like this?
So if any of you are like me, I have a wonderful, happy streak of creativeness where I even wake up in the middle of the night with ideas that just won't stop!!  I have so many that I can't even keep track of all of them, much less actually do anything with them.  Then comes the slump.  All of the sudden the ideas just don't trickle like they used to, or maybe I'm just not as excited about the ones I do have.  What is a person to do????

Here's some things that work for me:

1.  Take a walk - get your blood flowing (don't sit too long in front of your computer).  Get out of your work area!!!!  Sometimes those 4 walls that you work in just aren't doing it for you.  Go somewhere that inspires you.  For me, I love my local downtown area (I used to work there, and would take breaks by walking, looking at the beautiful tree-lined streets).  Or maybe a park!  Just take in the world around you - don't think of it as being constructive, just appreciate the beauty and let your mind wander to see where it takes you.  (I have to admit though, I do sometimes go to department stores just to see if there's an exciting new look that I may be able to incorporate into my jewelry.)

2.  Go to the local library or bookstore.  They have great art/craft-book sections that are just busting with great ideas that you may have never thought of before.  Maybe you don't even have to go to the section that's relevant to your art . . . sometimes nature, architecture, history, science, even fiction books may inspire a new piece of art.

3. Peruse the aisles of your favorite arts/crafts store.  Again, this is idea shopping - don't push yourself to feel like you have to buy anything.  Sure, go to your favorite sections, but if you have a little time, wander into the other areas that you usually don't visit!!  Sometimes something will strike a chord, and you have a new way to incorporate a usually unrelated item or technique into your art!!

4.  Clean up your work area.  I know, this one doesn't sound like much fun, but it does work.  First, if your area is cluttered, sometimes it's hard to imagine new and beautiful things when all you see is a mess.  (As my Mom would say - "Remember, a mess means stress".)  I probably need to do this one more often.

5.  Look through your supply stash.  Sometimes there are things in my stash that I didn't even remember I had until I look at them again.  Play a little with color combo's - maybe it will spark something.  Which leads to number six. . .

6.  When you find a winning combination (and if you can't create at that moment), put it in a little baggy, and put it into your Inspiration Box for later - maybe with a little sketch of your idea.  Later, look in the box for inspiration.

 7.  Just take a break (maybe even a little vacation day if you can): go to the gym, get together with friends (especially nice if you have some artsy/craftsy friends), or take a power nap.  Take care of your spiritual needs (Remember, "man cannot live on beads alone. . . I mean bread alone" ).  Sounds crazy, but a little healthy snack might just do the trick if you're feeling more of a physical slump.  (And don't underestimate the importance of staying hydrated!!)  Maybe you'll just feel better, refreshed, and ready to go after that.

8.  Keep a Folder of Ideas that you have when your "in the zone".  Sometimes this could even include new techniques that you hadn't had time to learn in the past (which also relates to point #10).  It doesn't have to be anything extensive, just things that will remind you of an idea you had.  I started doing this kind of by accident.  My husband gave me a great gift one year - a little folder and a copy of Beadwork Magazine.  From then on, I started casually adding other bead-related print-outs that I found on the internet, etc.  Before I even realized it, I had quite the collection!!  So if I can do it, it's really not that big of a deal.  Of course, remember to look through the folder when you need another creative jump-start - it really helps!

9.  Maybe even keep a file on your computer or phone of Pictures that you really like.  Looking at the composition, textures, patterns, or color schemes may help you to analyze your own work and re-energize it with more exciting color, etc.  (Or if you're just not that much of a computer person, add the pics to the folder mentioned in number eight!)

10.  Take a class to Learn a New Skill you can use in your art.  If you don't have a lot of time, there are a lot of art/craft magazines to which you can subscribe (see #8). is a great place to see a technique demonstrated.  Or even peruse some art/craft-related blogs that are designed to help you be inspired!! :-)  (Of course this is a plug for my blog - you can follow it through Google or Networked Blogs.  I try to explain what inspired me to create each piece I make.  Also, if you look at the sidebar on my blog, I also have Beading Daily's blog feed!)  And if you couldn't tell, color is a big motivator for me - I follow MargieDeeb who sends out color inspirations especially for beaders through her "Margie's Muse" column.

So those are just a few things that help me.  Go ahead!! Try some and see if they work for you.  If you have any other ideas for breaking out of a creative slump - please share them with me.  I'd love to hear what helps to re-inspire you!!!


  1. Lots of great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    I'm usually not short of ideas for my beadwork - just short of time to work out all of my ideas! But I do definately get into slumps for the other areas in which I need to be creative, such as writing or in my graphic design work.

    I think it can really help to set up an assignment for yourself. For example, I'll pick out an emotion, and then tell myself I have to paint a picture BASED on the emotion (e.g. jealousy, relief, whatever.) Setting up certain boundaries can sometimes be creatively freeing.

  2. That's a great tip!! It's interesting that setting boundaries can actually be freeing. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a wonderful post! I am so glad I found your blog. I especially liked the part about cleaning up the work area, re-organizing my beads jump starts my beading like nothing else.
    Hmm... If you have a minute you could stop by on my blog. I started this new monthly challenge thing, nothing major, but maybe you would like it. I am going to do it every month and the first theme is "Hardware Store". Not much to win, just some pics on my blog and Facebook page and some unconditional beady love:))


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