how to keep your creative juices flowing

We've all been there, stuck at the end of a deadline, maybe stumped from the very beginning, or just maybe you're in the middle the worst self diagnosed creative drought that never seems to end...

Whatever the specifics of your situation are, you've come to the internet to heal your wounds and that's where I come in to tell you the cold hard truth.  Sometimes you just can't.  Sometimes the creative fountain shuts off and it always seems to happen when we need it the most.  There's been many a sketching deadline for work when I'm in the middle of designing and everything is just pure crap, I can't seem to get into a flow, and completing even one sketch is like pulling teeth.  When I'm in those situations the easiest and first thing I do is stop and try to take a walk.  Ok, I take that back usually I'm not the one who has the bright idea to go for a walk.  Its usually Morgan who forces me to because he knows its exactly what I need.  Then I argue for about 20 minutes thinking of all the reasons I don't have time for a walk or how I'm too lazy, or how its really not going to help.  Thennnn only then, if he's won the argument, do I decide to take said walk and let me tell you it is always just what I need.

BUT, sometimes the walk doesn't help (it usually helps with a bit of anxiety though) and that's ok,  I'll then just tell myself, "hey, you know what?  You're not having the best sketching day, it's all good.  You know that you're still a good designer you're just having an off day, let's push through, its not the end of the world, you can make those designs better later, there's still time even after this initial deadline." which brings me to step 2--seeing the forest for the trees.  Look at the big picture and know that nothing is set it stone, reflecting on this always helps me free up my mind and all the pressures that a deadline can add.

The last thing I'm going to suggest, that doesn't really help if you're on a deadline or time crunch, is get curious.  Watch that old classic movie that's been on your list for 5 years.  Read that weird book, research your family ancestry, learn about another culture, take an off the wall, interesting class.  Use your brain in ways that you normally don't.  Are you a chef?  Design a barbie dream house!  Are you a designer?  Learn how to play the harmonica.  The possibilities are endless and your creativity is like a muscle, use it in unexpected ways.  Speaking of muscles, try interesting work outs like swimming, ballet, or even kick boxing.  Or something you never thought you would do.  Creativity is a verb, we can't sit back and watch youtube videos about it, read a million blog posts, or even try to disect it.  We just have to do it.  So for every blog post you read or video you watch make sure you're doing something creative too, because we the only way to keep the juices flowin' is to keep flowin' yourself.

(Side note:  Why is it that I'm always too afraid to do the things that will help me reverse my situation?!  For example when I'm procrastinating on deadlines or having a particularly uncreative day, I get on instagram to distract myself when I know FOR A FACT it's going to injure my feeble inner artist and throw off my productivity, and I still do it?  It's as if I have no self control.  I might as well be looking in the mirror telling myself nope you're not going to finally start your own business, you're going to be stuck in the same spot for the next 10 years because of your habits.  Maybe I'm being too hard on myself and I need to stop the guilt trip, but does anyone feel the same??  How do you deal?!)

P.S. I designed Morgan's album cover for his new single that is releasing.  I haven't painted like this in so long and it was definitely a challenge, but a good one!  Keep your peepers peeled for when his song drops, it's gonna be a good one!  (check out his instagram for details: https://www.instagram.com/lonesomelacowboy/)


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