Without external cues to spark a moment of inspiration, we may start to feel at a loss.
The everyday distractions such as a commute, a busy café and talking to people frame our day and offer a perspective we didn’t even realise we needed. Attempting to stay creative in such an anxious time, where the days and weeks are beginning to blur is hard, there is only so much a walk in the park can do to ignite that spark.
Many are struggling to make a distinction between what is work and what is play, an already difficult balance to achieve as a creative. Others are scared for their future financially, whilst working on a creative side project could be a welcomed distraction from this, the reality of the situation is still scary. Everyone is facing similar challenges and feeling under pressure.
Creativity is collaborative, relying on each other for inspiration and clarity. Being around people every day has perhaps been taken for granted. James Grenfiel, Koto founder and creative director has summarised what most are feeling at the moment: “The creative spark relies on real-life interaction, as well as the kind of accidental moments that can’t be replicated digitally”. He describes these interactions as “corridor moments, where people would walk past each other and say, ‘What are you working on?’, the “happy accidents” that “the creative industry thrives on”.
Why am I feeling uninspired?
Getting used to a new workspace - The way we lead our lives has been flipped, it is unnatural especially for a creative mind to be forced into one physical space.
Worry and anxious thoughts - You may be feeling scared and anxious about what lies ahead, negative feelings and worries can cloud your creative thinking process.
Mental strain - The world may seem to have adjusted to this new way of living however we are all in a prolonged period of stress as a result which can be exhausting.
Lack of simple pleasures - Lunch out with friends, sitting in a busy café or even booking for a holiday have been taken away, the feeling of having nothing to look forward to is demotivating.
Lack of validation - As a creative, often nothing is ever good enough, there is always more to be done. This new separation from the outside interaction can make you feel like you are underachieving.
To put your mind at ease:
- Just because we have more ‘time’ it doesn’t mean that that time has to be filled with work, it’s important to recharge; you’ll lose yourself in the process of trying too hard.
- Sometimes having space and time out from bustling modern life is a positive for a creative Having said this, it’s still important to strike a balance between becoming isolated and overly connected.
- Give yourself to come to terms with the changes we have been forced to make. Of course it is not perfect, digital communication can never replace human interaction but when has any creative process been perfect? - it’s about looking forward.
- A dip in creative ideas and a blank piece of paper is part of the journey, be patient with yourself.
Our top tips
- Use what is going on outside as inspiration instead of worrying about it – make it your own, use it to your advantage.
- There is pressure to use the time we have ‘spare’ to work on big projects and learn new skills, instead of doing this by yourself collaborate with someone else- stay connected and motivated.
- Make time to read, not only to fuel inspiration but also to have time away from the digital world and offer some escapism.
- Give yourself space for mental clarity – do not compare yourself to others, what the world is going through is not a competition.
- Declutter your workspace, make it a place you enjoy spending time in.
- Yes there are jobs to be done but be creative for yourself too, for your own happiness and wellbeing not necessarily with the aim of getting things done to be productive.
- Focus on a little bit of creativity every day- short bursts often work
- Encourage the sharing of ideas and work digitally despite how unnatural it may seem. It is important to continue collaboration, meetings with friends and colleagues daily to discuss concepts, perhaps through a ‘show and tell’, could help boost the flow of ideas and reassure you that you are on the right path.
Top 3 podcasts to listen to:
Top 5 Books to get your hands on:
- Keep Going, 10 Ways to stay creative in good times and bad- Austin Kleon
- Creative Confidence – Tom Kelley and David Kelley
- Steal like an artist, 10 things nobody told you about being creative – Austin Kleon
- Manage your day to day, build your routine, find your focus, sharpen your creative mind – JocelynK.Glei and Scott Belsky
- The War of Art, break through the block and win your inner creative battles – Steven Pressfield
Share this post with those who need a boost and let us know your thoughts and own experiences below, we’d love to hear what you have been doing to stay positive and creative!
Author – Sara Poidevin-Hill