I do Creative Mentoring with artists at all stages, many of whom are stuck with their art – either not making any at all, or not being happy with what they are making.
These are the top three reasons I come across for stuck-ness, and some of the remedies I prescribe!
1) Life changes, big life events & illness
This is the most frequently encountered one.
People get in a great habit of being creative regularly, then suddenly a relative gets ill, a baby arrives or a job changes and the routine goes out the window. Before you know it, it’s been months since you created anything.
– Keep a journal. This simple, quick daily practice will keep your creative wheels oiled for when you have more time.
– Take your creativity on a date. You don’t have time to be creative every day, but take an afternoon, morning or evening for yourself and head off to a cosy cafe with your sketchbook, notebook or journal.
– Be easy on yourself. Fallow periods are fine, you aren’t a machine and don’t need to be ‘productive’ all the time!
– Watch out for excuses. Don’t make your loved ones the reason you aren’t living your dreams – that isn’t fair on them OR you. There is always some time, if you take it, for your art.
2) Confidence setbacks
At some point, if we put ourselves out there, we will encounter a critic, or a lack of enthusiasm about our work from others. This can cause our confidence to take a knock and stop our creativity in it’s tracks.
– Take criticism as a chance to learn & grow, rather than accepting it as a setback.
– Examine the source. Critics often aren’t doing much themselves and may be projecting their own dissatisfaction onto you.
– Work anyway. If you work, you will improve and the excellence of your work will boost your confidence.
3) Stagnation or boredom with your art
You’ve reached a point where you are quite successful and then all of a sudden it seems samey and bo-o-ring!
– See this as a great chance to try something exciting and new!
– Do something totally different to what you would normally do (and be prepared to be awful at it!)
– Find a teacher, coach or course to engage your interest and push your limits.
Over to you – what are your top stuck-ness points and how do you deal with them?
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