This post is going to be about creating artwork after a break, of however long. I have had many times in my life when I haven’t created anything for periods of times, sometimes just a few weeks and at one time, almost a decade. What characterised these times was the fear and overwhelming feelings of how to start up again.
I will share a few tips that helped me and hopefully you can try if you just haven’t got a clue where to start again.
I often talk about this to my students and learners, the idea of momentum with art. Creativity tends to come and go but if you keep a momentum once you have got started by having regular art time it is less likely you will stop. Once you have started, even something small, keep going! It is so important.
This is because starting is hard, if you allow other things to take up your time and energy you can find yourself a long way from your creative self.
The Fear of Starting
I had long spells in my past where I didn’t do anything creative and it got to the point where I was too scared to pick up a paintbrush or pencil. Don’t be hard on yourself if you have got yourself in that situation, my tips for starting small might just help.
Do it For You
One of the reasons that I stopped doing anything creative is that I had started associating art with grades during my education and then commissions later on. I rarely just created anything for creation sake, so when I had no course or commission I didn’t create. Later in life I have learnt the importance and the joy of just creating for no particular purpose.
Book an Art Date with Yourself
I have since discovered that art is important for my wellbeing, being creative is just part of who I am and I need to express it so I’ve got a whole lot more selfish about booking out time for me and my creative time.
I was always embarrassed to tell friends that I was drawing or painting in the past and thought I might be judged for ‘wasting time’ or being a ‘loner’ creating art for no reason. Thankfully I have moved past this and I put my art time first and have no problem telling people.
Sometimes in life stress and obligations have taken up all my time, leaving me void of all creative thoughts. This is when you sit down and no ideas or motivation come to you whatsoever, it is scary for artists when this happens because you don’t see a time when you will feel creative again.
There are so many ways you can start small here are a few that I like:
Photography – use your artist eye to find inspiration
Go somewhere new – a trip or a bus ride just get out and observe
Quick Drawings – Set a timer for ten minutes and just draw something
Play with Materials – Just get out the paints, crayons and go back to being a child
I hope these tips help if you feel stuck after a long break and don’t know how to get back to your creative self. If you have some helpful tips why not share them in the comments…