A lot of people have ways to prepare themselves for stressful situations: breathing techniques, counting to ten, the usual. But what about preparing yourself for the things you actually enjoy? Do you pop a bag of popcorn before turning on a movie, or light a candle before slipping into a bath? I prepare myself for creating art, and I’d like to share some tips that work for me when I want to get into the creative spirit….
1. Keeping inspiring items nearby.
There are photos and prints of art that I love stuck to the wall behind my desk; they are out of my way, but within sight. When asking myself, “What do I do next?” it is easy to look up and say, “I love that! What does it make me think of? Why do I like it? How can I mimic that emotional response with my own current piece?” My items aren’t there to copy, just to inspire. Try printing out photos of your favorite art, architecture, and imagery to keep close by for the moments of feeling stuck.
2. Indulging (just a little bit).
I don’t drink pop regularly, nor tea, but I still get my good caffeine fix everyday with a cup of hot brew! I don’t just use coffee as a pick-me-up for those early mornings. For me, coffee is more of a want than a need; it’s a small indulgence that I can enjoy throughout the day. Being creative is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, not a chore. I suggest you indulge, just a little, while trying to find your muse. A small piece of chocolate or you favorite beverage is a good way to start.
3. Create an atmosphere.
As a music lover, my desk is occupied with speakers, CDs, and has an easy access to my record player. I also have the ability to turn on a television show or a movie if I so choose. However, I make sure to pick noises that are conducive to a creative atmosphere rather than a distraction. The idea here is to create a white noise machine that muffles the busy world around you; my creative space should be a haven. I don’t suggest watching the new season of a favorite show or playing work out music. Try to find some calming music or a show you’ve seen a million times to make a space that feels, and sounds, comfortable.
4. Preparing the work station and pulling out supplies.
Before I had a desk to keep all of my supplies in, I had an enormous bag with which I could keep 90% of my paints, markers, pens, etc. easily together. I’m lucky enough to have a a new dedicated art space, but this means I’m not exactly sure just yet where to find everything. Laying out the supplies I might want to use is helpful for when I’m working. Just like having the bag close to hand, having my art supplies in front of me makes it so that I’m not pausing to find the right color of paint or the perfect pen size. If I don’t have to stop working, the creative juice flows far more freely! Try keeping your favorite supplies close at hand during your creative moments.
5. Create just to create.
I strongly recommend making time for your creative endeavors everyday, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If this means investing in a small sketchbook that fits in your pocket, so be it! Just because you “don’t know what to make,” or, “don’t feel inspired,” it doesn’t mean you should stop creating! I reason that if creating becomes a habit, then the days that I am truly inspired, art will be a priority instead of an after thought! You can always sketch the world around you, even if it’s just the paint brush on your desk or the shoes on your feet. If you’re more of a crafty person, use your creative time to crochet granny squares, fold paper cranes, sew a simple pillow case, or play with clay.
I hope this helps you design the perfect atmosphere for creating. If you have an tips that work for you, feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what they are! I’d love to hear them. Who knows, you might inspire me!