I’m sure you have gone through times where you’re just in a funk. You can’t create anything you like. Your writing seems dull or maybe you’ve tried to draw something 50 times and it’s just not coming out right. How many pieces of paper have you balled up and tossed in the trash? I’m with you. I’ve been there a lot and I didn’t want to admit that I was unmotivated, but the truth is I was.
Crochet, as you know, is my main craft but a few weeks ago I was struggling to get my groove back. I even tried to make a greeting card and I got as far as cutting card stock to the right size for my card base and then I stopped. I just couldn’t go any further. Why do creatives have these moments? It feels so crippling. Well, I have a few theories:
- Burn out. It happens when you have a full plate. Or, if you’ve been creating a lot of products with barely time to rest.
- Physical problems. Sometimes, an injury can affect motivation especially when you’re forced to temporarily give up the craft. It’s hard to get back into it after the injury has healed.
- Personal problems. Let’s face it, it’s hard to concentrate and have fun creating when you have challenges in your life. Sometimes crafting helps to take your mind off your problems but not always.
Now, sometimes nothing is going on that affects your creativity and still you feel stuck in a rut. So here’s some of my tips to re-awaken those creative juices:
- Be real and admit it. First off, realize that as a creative person, you will have moments of “creative blocks”. Much like writing blocks, nothing seems to come together. The best thing to do is not to panic and don’t think you’re not an artist. You most certainly are!
- Give yourself time off. We all need to replenish and recharge our internal batteries so allow some time to do other things. Perhaps try a different craft.
- Browse other works of art. When I’m challenged, looking at other artwork helps get me thinking of ideas.
- Reassess. There are times when I’ve had to go back to the basics and start over again. Nothing wrong with going back to the beginning and re-defining what you’re doing and why. Purpose is extremely important so you’re not wasting your time in a medium or area that you’re not fulfilled in. Case in point: I love making cards, but I know that’s not my first love and I’m not as good at it as I am with fiber arts. My first love is crochet so no matter if I spin off and knit, make cards, weave, journal, write, etc., I always come back to crochet. You as an artist, should know which artform gives you the most fulfillment and then spend the majority of your time mastering it.
- Don’t stop creating. Everyday, I try to do something creative to keep my juices going and my mind afresh. That might be watching a pattern video tutorial, start a blog post, read a magazine, cut out shapes, or even color. This is a time that I’m not trying to make something to sell, it’s just a creative time for me to explore, imagine, and have fun. I recommend this for any artist. Do NOT stop creating altogether. Just make some time to create for fun and not for work.
I hope these tips will help you if you’re in a rut right now. They sure are helping me! I recently finished making a prayer shawl and I’ve gone back to working on a beautiful crochet scarf/shawl that I plan to put tassels on and a button for closure. I’m excited how it’s turning out. It’s a lacy pattern perfect for Spring/Summer cause it’s won’t make the wearer feel hot and it will drape nicely as it’s worn.
So, share with me any of your tips for how you get out of a creative block! And, thanks for reading!