Five Tips to Get Inspired When You Are Not Feeling Creative

June 10, 2018 Puerto Rico

Creativity Tips -

In a perfect world, us creatives will feel inspired to create all the time, but the truth is that sometimes we want to do so many things that the focus is just off the window and with it the inspiration and the desire to create. Or on the contrary, it could be that we are just lost, with no clue on what to do, and that blank page just keep staring at us. Because I have been there, I want to provide you with helpful tips to get your creative juices flowing. 


Watercolor Swatches -

When I hit a creative block, my favorite thing to do to get that inspiration boost I need is doing paint swatches. I love it because it is a non-preassure, stress free activity and you can get so much out of it, like for example: 
  • It brings you calmness: In creativity those quiet, relaxing moments are the ones that bring us clarity and the ideas just start flowing. 
  • It helps you get to know your paints: Let's be honest here, we as creatives purchase paints just for the sake of it, and there are times that we have so many tubes and pans that we haven't even explored yet. By doing paint swatches you can get to know how your new paints work and you may even discover that color that you didn't even knew you were looking for. 
  • It sparks your creativity: By just applying a bit of color on a piece of paper just for the fun of it, the ideas just start flowing and you can get out of it that something you needed to get started with your next art project. 
  • It helps you with color theory and mixing skills.


Another great activity you can do to get inspired when you are not feeling creative is making shapes on a piece of paper. A couple of months ago I was working on a Puerto Rico map, I had everything figured out, the colors, the sketch, the details of it, everything... But as I started working on it, something was not feeling right, the more I looked at it, the more uninspired I was to continue working on it, so I just took out a piece of watercolor paper and started creating lines, flourishes and geometric shapes, when I started looking at it, I noticed that the "random" shapes could be turned into a great work of art.

After I finished the sketch, I decided to watercolor it but practicing the basic watercolor techniques. I played with gradient washes, paint + water dropping and flat washes, sometimes going back to the basics can open up your mind to new creative ideas. 


Watercolor Palette -

Art studios are a great place to work, everything is accessible and let's be honest, they are packed with almost every creative tool there is out there, but I know  that sometimes being in four walls could make us feel a bit uninspired. That's why I recommend changing the environment you're in, go to the beach, to your favorite coffee shop, or just any place that you love and know will spark your creativity.  My favorite go to place is the beach, I have a travel kit that I carry almost everywhere, I mainly work on the sketch when I am at the beach, then I color it when I get back to the studio. 


I noticed that when I'm not feeling creative, watching tutorials or short courses on new watercolor techniques give me the inspiration boost I need to start creating. That's mainly because I'm so eager to try it out myself, that it gets me into the creativity mode instantly. Another reason why this works, is because every time us creatives learn a new skill, we need to perfect it and it keeps us creating constantly. 


Watercolor Art - Watercolor Cacti - Watercolor Desert -

Start fresh with a new concept, I know this is not the ideal scenario when you already started on a project and when you have a time frame, but think about this... You are spending way more time being uninspired and trying to make it work, than actually creating something that you are proud of. The process stops being fun, and turns into a torture that you just can't wait to get over with, I went through this last week and believe me I know how it feels. When I knew that the piece was no longer bringing me joy, and that I was spending more time staring at it trying to figure out how to finish it, I decided to take a break, and literally followed the first 4 steps, to help me get inspired and figure things out.

Let me tell you that it was worth it, I created a wonderful map of my island Puerto Rico that I'm proud of and that I enjoyed every minute the creative process. Sometimes starting over fresh with a new concept can turn things around and can bring you back the inspiration you need to get creative.

These tips are the ones I use and love doing, because they truly help me get inspired when I'm not feeling creative. Doing stress-free activities just for the fun of it, creating shapes on a paper, changing your environment and starting over fresh can make you create a piece that will bring you joy and that you are proud of. Remember that just because something doesn't turns out the way you initially wanted, doesn't mean that you failed, it means that you are growing as an artist and that you just want to put your best work forward, happy creating!