It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit lacking in inspiration in the winter even in normal years. But this year lots of us are finding it harder than ever. In your conversations with friends and family, you’ve probably heard a few people say that this lockdown feels ever harder than the others in 2020.
To try and help, we’ve pulled together this little guide we’ve got 9 tips for you to reignite and unleash your creativity in 2021. We could just say ‘come and try one of our super fun awesome online parties‘ (and you totally should!) but these other tips below should be just as helpful!
1. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself – rest up
Whilst this is sometimes easier said than done, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Focus on the things that you hopefully can control and look after yourself: stay hydrated, eat well, and try to get enough sleep. Not eating enough or being dehydrated can adversely affect our concentration. Not getting enough sleep is bad for us too, and some scientists hypothesise that sleep plays a valuable role in problem-solving.
2. Read, read, read – or watch, watch, watch
Staring at a blank screen or a blank canvas can be daunting and not always conducive to ideas. So allow yourself to get inspiration from elsewhere. Read around your topic, watch videos on YouTube that might jolt some ideas. They don’t have to be directly relevant – just anything that might light a spark. You might even want to check out our podcast, That’s Creative!, which is all about the way professionals, artists and entrepreneurs use their creativity and problem-solving in day to day life.
3. Take notes
Looking for inspiration from scratch every time can be a pain. So as you come across things that you think are pretty neat, write them down, screenshot them, or put them in a scrap book! On Instagram, for example, you could make use of the bookmark tool to store design ideas, recipes, quick guides, and whatever else you might be inspired by.
4. Don’t be afraid to copy a bit!
There’s no such thing as a truly original idea. As Philosopher David Hume explained, all we really have is bits and pieces of different things and experiences and memories combined together in innumerable forms. Inevitably, our ideas borrow at least somewhat from other people. Vincent Van Gogh – who’s creativity is in no doubt – was a prolific copier. Obviously we shouldn’t pass others’ work off as our own and should share credit, but don’t worry about borrowing and changing up something that already exists to get the ball rolling.
5. Start before you’re ready
Sometimes it can be tempting to wait for all of the stars to align absolutely perfectly before you get ready. You’ve not quite thought everything through; the temperature’s not quite right; you’re waiting for a fully undisturbed 2 hour slot before you put pen to paper… But those perfect times rarely, if ever, happen – so don’t wait for them! Even if you just need to start with something rudimentary, or with the easies thing on your list, or can just spend half an hour on something – start then. Don’t wait until you’re absolutely ready and start on your project bit by bit.
6. Manage your environment
While starting before you’re ready is important, there are some things you can do to help you feel ready, or to maximise your creativity once you start. Where do you create best? What times are best for you? Is your chair comfortable? Does what you wear make a difference? Is there too much clutter around you? These are little things but they can make a big difference!
7. Let your mind wonder
Ever noticed that your best ideas sometimes come to you in the shower, on a walk, or whilst driving? Turns out there’s a reason for that, as Buffer reported in this story. A change of environment and activity can relax us, and that relaxation in turn helps spark our creativity and problem solving.
8. Seek feedback
This one is an important one, and it’s one we can all sometimes struggle with. Creativity is often a highly social thing – not just in terms of being inspired by others, but by constantly refining our ideas through conversation and feedback. Obviously it’s perfectly natural to feel a little defensive about your creations – but often other people can help us see what’s working well, and what would make things even better.
9. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good
We can all be our own harshest critics – but whatever you’ve got so far, you’re off to a great start! Worrying about perfection can make us feel like we’re not good enough, and lead to us delaying even getting started with things. If you can, try to shift your thinking: you don’t need to create perfection. You just need something fit for purpose and something good. If you break things down into smaller steps you’ll get there!
Got some tips you’d like to add? @ us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @popuppainting and let us know 💫