Whether it’s artists, musicians, writers, or dancers, many people who are engaged in creative pursuits will struggle at times when it comes to finding ways to inspire themselves and unlock their next creative project.
Contemporary artist Discollins, whose paintings tend to be based around current cultural issues, says that rather than being intimidated by it, artists should embrace the creative process, exploring their own passions and ideas and letting them lead to wherever they may.
To do that he says it’s important for artists to spend time with their thoughts and consider the world in ways which other people might not. One method he recommends is to try and fuse disparate thoughts or ideas together that have meaning to you and seeing what results. In his case, that can be anything from fashion and architecture to food and the female anatomy. He takes the time detail some of his sources of artistic inspiration.
Use Dreams as a Source of Creativity
While it’s no exact science, Discollins says dreams can be a great source of inspiration along those same lines, pulling different elements from your subconscious and merging them into a bizarre tapestry that is unique to you alone. He recommends keeping a notepad beside the bed so vague ideas and images can be quickly jotted down upon waking before they’re lost permanently to the ether.
Practicing mindful meditation is also an alternative. Don’t expect to have a transcendent experience from a 10-minute session in lotus position however; it can take hours of focused meditation to unlock such an event, if it happens at all.
Fire Up Your Right Brain
If nothing is working to unlock your next masterpiece, it’s possible your creative juices (which reside in the right side of your brain) aren’t firing on all cylinders. If that’s the case, there are several exercises you can try which could help activate your right brain. One is to breathe through only your left nostril. Another is to repeatedly scan your eyes back and forth between two objects on the right and left sides of your vision, which can stimulate your whole brain.
Feed Your Creativity
Another option that is recommended by some artists is to occupy part of your mind with something else, whether it be exercise, reading, or living in the moment mindfully. Discollins adds that another great option is to hop in the shower, during and shortly after which have been shown to be peak creative periods.
Experiment with Different Times of the Day
Also consider when you’re attempting creative pursuits. The afternoon is generally considered to be the worst time to be creative. Interestingly, a 2011 study showed that when people self-identified as morning or night people, it was found they did their best creative work during the opposite period.
The researchers hypothesized that when you’re feeling the most alert and capable, you’re less likely to seek a creative solution. So, if you’re a night person, set your alarm, drag your body out of bed and go paint something. Some unexpected creativity may be waiting to burst from that groggy brain of yours.