Creative block is my worst nightmare. From biting the tip of my pencil to staring blankly at my empty art board for hours on Illustrator, even the idea makes me feel trapped.
A creative block feels like procrastinating with extra guilt —there’s nothing worse than being in a position where you have an outlet for your creativity, but you’re unable to produce any content. This stage of self-loathing is hard to overcome, especially if you don’t know where to begin approaching your work. For people working or pursuing a career in a creative industry, this challenge becomes even more difficult to overcome because the stakes are even higher.
In any industry, you’re constantly expected to come up with ideas that will contribute to your field. Being asked to create a piece or idea on the spot can be uninspiring, making you doubt your own abilities and tampering with your knowledge of the industry, whether that’s an understanding of the newest trends or the most efficient business model.
However, it’s a part of the creative process. Many creatives have dug ourselves into this hole and survived —you never hear about someone being eternally stuck in a creative block.
It’s important to know an innovative idea is more than having an epiphany —it takes time and effort to nurture a concept from an initial thought into fully produced content. The time spent brainstorming and pinpointing, the dedication, and, most importantly, the intention behind your art is what shapes your process throughout creation. A creative process is an ongoing need to feel inspired, which can destroy the ability to find a spark for your creative process.
Acknowledging that creative block is often one part of the process doesn’t make it easier to overcome. For those in the midst of it, here are a few suggestions.
Brainstorming is the simplest, yet most crucial aspect of a creative process. This stage takes the longest because it’s where you slowly and instinctively sort through your thoughts, ideas and feelings. In whatever you’re trying to produce, it’s your art —finding the fundamental foundation to start your work. So sit down, get cozy, and maybe light a candle, because you’re about to put your time and energy into finding the direction you want to take for your piece.
Don’t steal ideas, but take inspiration from them
Many creatives will offer this advice: read, watch, and stay up-to-date. What has gotten you rattled up or shifted your perspective? It can be the recent climate change rallies, the runway prank at Chanel’s latest show, or the newest season of a popular Netflix show —these influences will get you feeling inspired again. From Hemingway’s short stories to Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel, the greatest masterminds have used several methods by creatives that came before them to build their work.
Creative Fatigue is Real
Sometimes the best way to tackle a creative block is by not tackling it at all. Be patient and give yourself time to distress. In our generation, even while we’re navigating the pressure of various commitments, we’re constantly beating ourselves up for not being productive or creative enough. It’s very hard to take care of ourselves throughout these times. This experience is something we share, and it’s easier said than done to practice self-care. In these moments, it’s important to put your wellbeing and mental health first —do whatever is necessary, whether that’s talking to your boss or rescheduling a meeting. Don’t beat yourself up for not having the mental capacity to create.
Header Image Source: Super Nice Letters