What to do when you feel stuck?

As a working artist, there's nothing more frustrating than having a tons of "work" that you need to paint and not "feeling" like painting or creating. Some call it Artist block, artists burnout, or maybe just a case of the blues, but I had one of these moments today.

Here's a few of the things I do when I'm feeling uninspired in my art practice.

Take a step back
When we are depleted from energy and creativity, it usually signals that our life is out of balance. Sometimes, when I'm stressed, creating is the perfect fix. But when I'm TOO stressed, it just doesn't work. For me, I had to take a step back from activity in general. As an introvert, and a creative, I tend to get overwhelmed easy, so learning to say "no", and not bringing guilt along with it is a must.
Get Outside
Take a walk, sit and soak up the sun, take photographs of nature, create a flower arrangement to enjoy, visit a local nursery or botanical garden, take a drive through the countryside, skip some stones in a pond, or sit by a babbling brook. Nature is God's way of giving us a built in stress buster."He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters" Psalm 23:2
Do Something Fun
Be silly. Do something fun that you haven't done in awhile. Dance to your favorite music, sing loud in your car with all the windows down. Go to a video arcade and play PAC MAN. Embarrass yourself and have a good laugh. Sometimes when the weight of being an adult starts to wear you down, you have to remember how to have fun.
Invite a friend to create
Sometimes just getting together with another creative to make art or anything crafty will increase your creative energy and give you a new perspective. Create something just for fun to give away, or swap creations with your friend.
Take a class
Take a class outside of your norm. Pick a class that is short and simple, so you don't add to your feelings of overwhelm and normal expectations and you can actually complete it. I recently took a fun fabric collage course with Jeanne Oliver, and lately, I've been inspired by some textile collage artist that I follow on instagram (bbhenry_art and Roben-Marie Smith), and so it sparked my collage artwork from my latest You Tube video-see below.
Work a regular exercise regimen into your daily routine, even if you think you don't have time for it. A quick walk, some stretches or a jog around the block will increase your energy and clear your head-20 minutes of something is better than nothing-you will feel better, I promise!
Quiet Time
For me, time in prayer and God's word is a necessary reset each day. Maybe for you it is meditation, breathing exercises or just sitting still for a few moments. I find that time reading the Bible brings me back to my core values and reveals truth, calms me and gives me intention and purpose for my life. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33Hope these tips help you to bloom if you're struggling. I'd love to hear things that you do to revive yourself when you've been in a creative slump!


1 comment

  • Getting outside to walk or sit and read under our Mt. Laurel are two of the things I gravitate towards. I usually spend a good amount of time in the morning in God’s word, and writing scripture. I think you also put on IG to set a timer for 3 minutes to just be creative which usually involves fussy cutting for me. 💪🏼 Talk about low level creativity. Lol.

    Laura Dodson

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