Lost your Creative Mojo?

posted on 25th Jul 2018 by Veronica Dooley

A blank canvas or a blank page can be very intimidating. At this very moment, I have four large blank canvases just sitting in my studio waiting for me. I have been painting regularly for the last year or so and have been brimming with inspiration and motivation. I couldn’t wait to get started on my new paintings… except it just hasn’t happened this time. They are still there in my studio, hanging impatiently on the walls – I just don’t know how to start!

Now it may well just be the lure of the long sunny days convincing me that instead of being holed up in a dark and damp studio I should really be drinking gin in the garden… but it got me thinking – what should you do when you lose your creative mojo? All creative people will suffer from a lack of inspiration at times. Writer’s block, artistic rut, creative drought or just plain banging your head against a brick wall! And although there is no magic formula to get the creative juices flowing again, let’s have a look at some ideas that can help you get back into your creative groove.

Collaborate

This is the quickest and easiest trick to get your creative juices flowing again. Grab some colleagues or friends, talk through your project and bounce some ideas around with a brainstorming session. Someone who isn’t directly involved can often see things from a different perspective and offer suggestions that you may not have considered yet. Be grateful of your office buddies who can offer you supportive and encouraging feedback on your ideas. Fresh eyes on a project and talking it out loud can usually spark something new and get you motivated again.

Become a magpie

Develop a magpie attitude to life – check out what’s going on around you and take in the bits that you find interesting. Grab a coffee and go people watching, watch a film or visit a museum. Be open to your surroundings and observe the world with a critical eye. Carry a camera or a sketchbook with you all the times because inspiration can come at any time and from the least likely source. And let yourself be inspired by other creative practices. If you’re a graphic designer check out an art gallery or some local architecture.

Take a break

If you’ve been staring at your blank screen or your canvas then try a little proactive procrastination. Do some admin work, clean your workspace, shred some of that stuff that’s been lying on your desk for months. Part of your brain will still be whirring about without you pushing it too hard. Sometimes a creative block is a sign that you are not quite in the right frame of mind for your creative work, so use this non-brain time as a quality distraction. Daydream, let your mind wander and be open until a fresh idea pops into your brain and you rush back to your desk to get cracking again.

Look back and carry on

Go through some old work and past projects and remember what it was that excited you. Seeing what worked and what didn’t can help you find a solution to your current block. For me I know I have hit a block when I am not creating anything at all, so I often jump back into my sketchbooks where I can try out something new or revisit some old work. Flipping through old sketchbooks is an amazing way to break through the creative block. Sometimes this is all I need to get back into the flow of things again.

Exercise 

Ok so I know this one won’t win the popular vote but it really does work! Research shows that exercise elevates cognitive creativity and productivity. Exercise helps get more oxygen to the brain which will alter your mood and get your thinking muscles pumping again. The philosopher and author Henry Thoreau claimed that his thoughts began to flow ‘the moment my legs began to move.’ Even a 10-minute walk at lunchtime will get you out of the office and unclutter your mind. So get outside, fill your lungs with fresh air and release those wonderful endorphins. Take that creative block!

 

VERONICA DOOLEY, CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER

When projects have so many moving parts you need someone who knows just how to keep track of it all. With a degree in Fine Arts from NCAD, Veronica brings an undeniable flair for the creative to her role as Client Services Manager. From the moment a job comes into the studio, right through to the final stages, Veronica’s on hand to make sure everything goes according to plan and gets done on time. She’s clients’ first point of contact to ensure their needs are met.