Creativity is a flow, sometimes we get rushes of ideas and are inspired heavily all at once. Other times it is a struggle to have an open mind, or not feel burn out with creating. The other aspect of this is on the backend once we have created something, we tend to be quite critical of our work, when just moments before we were excited about what we created. Needles to say it’s a daily battle for a creative, so here are five ways keep a creative flow.
1 - Shift your perspective.
Think of this like looking out a plane window from take off to cruising altitude. A lot of times we are looking at things from on or near ground level, but like in flight as you gain altitude your view changes. You begin to see things as you didn’t or couldn't before. Shift your perspective from the ground level to a broader high altitude view. Maybe for you that looks like laying all of your current work out and doing some editing, or looking at how much you have truly grown in your work. Another thing to look at is how your work is impacting you and the people around you. When we start to shift our perspective we begin to see things differently, and some things for the first time.
2 - Break the routine.
I have a dog and she loves her routine, I mean it is clock work, food, walk, nap, play, and so on… Routines are incredibly great for structure and holding yourself accountable. Although if your routine is adversely affecting you, it may be time to change it up. Just a slight bit of change in the routine could have a major impact on your day and creative process. For me I try to have one afternoon each week that is a random afternoon where nothing is scheduled and that means I can spend time outdoors, at a coffee shop, creating in some other fashion, or just catching up on some things that I had been putting off. Routine gives balance, but slight changes here in there can keep things fresh and feeling new.
3 - Fellowship.
I know creatives who are introverted and extroverted, regardless, you need to make it a point to get together with a fellow creative, or trusted friend each week for some one on one time just to catch up, share stories, work through things that you or they may be dealing with. A lot of times this helps affirm that you're “not alone” in whatever situation you may be in. It also can be a light hearted time where you both are energized by each others stories and conversation. I can feel energized even after a conversation about gear with one of my other photographer friends. So not everything has to be heart or deep content. It’s just that you are out there putting into relationships that matter.
4 -Study some other expression of art than yours.
As important as it is to be aware of what other artists like you are creating and have created, its also important for you to seek inspiration through art forms other than yours. As you begin to do this you will find, other art forms that inspire you and feed your creative drive. For example, I like to study music, architecture, film, and culinary arts. After visiting a place with incredible architecture, I feel energized and excited to have learned something new that I can share with someone else.
5 - Know who you are and who you aren't creatively.
As I meet with different photographers and creatives, it’s easy for me to tel pretty quickly the artists who know who they are creatively and the others who are still working on it. Both are great places to be, although working through whoyou are and aren't creatively helps build your identity as an artist. Knowing that can help you focus your creative passion in a direction that can lead to a more sustainablegrowth and workflow as an artist.