Creative Digest

Jo Atherton

You may not be able to paint without listening to Radio 4, or perhaps the start to your creative day begins with a particular blend of coffee in your favourite mug. We all have rituals and eccentricities which help to motivate and avoid procrastination, but inevitably Creative Block can and does strike from time to time. This month’s Creative Digest takes a look at a selection of blog posts which are packed with advice, tips and suggestions to help avoid this most demoralising of forces.

  • 9 Steps to Staying Motivated, for Artists, Makers, and Creative Freelancers
    From ‘big hairy audacious goals’ to setting the mood in your creative space, Sarah West Ervin lists some practical advice for the creative when they come up against inevitable periods of creative block. “Make sure to give yourself enough time to find flow” she advises, “the mental state associated with being fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process." 
  • 7 Types of Creative Block (and What to Do About Them)
    “For a creative professional, a creative block isn’t just frustrating — it’s potentially career-damaging. When you rely on your creativity to pay the bills and build your reputation, you can’t afford to be short of ideas or the energy to put them into action.” Wise words from Mark McGuinness who recognises that “some artists can become so locked into a familiar way of looking at the world that they fail to see other options. You make assumptions and approach a problem from a limiting premise.” Tackling the seven types of creative block, Mark offers useful advice to anyone who has ever struggled to stay motivated.
  • 7 ways to get motivated in the studio and to sell more art
    Doug Farrick suggests some practical activities for kick starting creativity, from visiting museums to reorganising the studio space, he suggests that “cleaning, re-arranging or organizing is a way to invite instant motivation to embark on a new series or just create space for something new to happen.”
  • The Myth of Creative Inspiration: Great Artists Don’t Wait for Motivation
    James Clear talks about the power of a schedule for creative people, advising that regular space to work will be far more effective than simply waiting for the creative muse to come knocking. “You can’t selectively choose your best moments and only work on the days when you have great ideas.” 
  • 12 ways to motivate an artist
    “Just show up” suggests Alicia Tormey. “Simply spending time in your studio will get you into the habit of creating.” Alicia also recommends joining a local group of artists in your area, like Herts Visual Arts. “Meet once a month to discuss your progress and share resources. Connecting with others will keep you going.” Both HVA’s regional and specialist art groups are an excellent way of connecting with others within the county.

Do you have any rituals or suggestions for staying motivated? We’d love to hear them!