It just so happens that being an artist can sometimes be a pain. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. However, there are things to overcome like any other job. The biggest struggle can sometimes be the core of what you do - the creative process.
You’ll hit walls. I cannot tell you how many times I have spent days researching, sketching, sourcing, and actually attacking the project- just for it to turn out NOTHING like I had envisioned and I’m back to the drawing board. It’s easy to feel defeated, but the way to stay creative has been an experiment. You have to learn how to keep the flow even when the flow isn’t quite happening.
Somedays you’ll be on fire and you cannot stop the progress and it’s magical. Somedays I stare at a dress form, a wall of beads, a sketch board - and nothing comes to mind. Sometimes I’ll design something for days and then have to completely take it apart because it’s just not working. It’s easy to feel defeated and deflated, but then you have to find ways to push yourself forward. Because when you work independently… no one’s going to do it for you.
Here are some ways/rules to STAY creative:
1. Make Lists
You don’t have to do everything all at once, but when you can’t work through something, revisit your list and see what else you can do. There are non-creative things you could be doing that will be just as important to fill in the time when you just can’t design; i.e. social media, data entry, etc.
2. Carry a Notebook Everywhere
You may be surprised at what inspires you. Be prepared. Always take notes. Sketch in the waiting room. Make lists. ^
3. Get Away from the Computer / Take Breaks / REST REST REST
Sometimes leaving the computer and getting some fresh air will allow you to reboot. It’s easy to get sucked into BuzzFeed, Pinterest or a Facebook black hole. Also seeing friends and loved ones always recharges your spirit. Human connection does so much more than your relationship with your computer to help the creative flow come back to life.
If you’re brain is constantly on, sometimes it needs to be turned off. Watch some TV, order some take out, take a bath… just anything that is relaxing. You owe it to yourself.
Sometimes you just need a nap. If you are an artist and make your own schedule- lucky you… everyone with “9-5’s” wish they were you. Take advantage of this gem of a situation.
4. Quit Beating Yourself Up / Count Your blessings
Getting down on yourself won’t help you any. Sometimes writing down your accomplishments reminds you of your potential. It would also help to write down why you chose this path. It may be the reminder you need to get back on board and try, try, try again.
You probably chose a creative job because you just don’t operate the way the norm does. It scares you to even think of having a same thing, day in day out kind of job - so be thankful that your creative dream job is happening! If you aren’t there yet, but are in motion, just realize how huge of a step it is to follow your heart. It takes a lot of courage. It won’t always be easy… but it will always be worth it.
5. Listen to Music
Music has such a huge effect on my mood. Another good creative booster. Put on something that reflects what you want to do at the time. Songza is my go to. It basically creates a playlist for the time of day, activity, and mood you want to create into a playlist. It’s brilliant and helps the creative flow get back into motion. It’s like free creative therapy!
6. Be Open / Go Somewhere New
Don’t expect to do the same thing everyday and get different results. Trying new things may seem daunting when you have your own way of doing things, but it may help you grow creatively. Even if things seem a bit backwards, try it anyway. What’s the worst that could happen?
Sometimes the mind needs to be refreshed. Go and see or do something new. If you aren’t living outside your creative box, you won’t be so happy in it. Explore! It’s like pressing the restart button on your creative flow.
7. Surround Yourself with Creative People / Collaborate
8. Practice, Practice, Practice
Ever hear of the 10,000 hour rule? “Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always innate genius or talent that will make you a success, it’s the hours that you put in, which means that ANYONE can do it.” More on this idea here: http://www.squidoo.com/10000-hour-rule
9. Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes / Take Risks
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
Sometimes you don’t do it right, but it will open doors to getting closer to doing it correctly. Sometimes it can be a mistake that you can use in the future for something else. Good mistakes exist.
10. Stop Trying to Be Someone Else’s Perfect
Listen. I’m the same age as Gaga. You think I’m going to compare myself to her accomplishments? Nope. It’s common for people to see another artist that is excelling in their creative realm and then you look at your accomplishments and boy are you humbled. Just use other artists your age to inspire you. At the end of the day, no one creative has the same path- that’s the exciting part. Move at your own pace, make your own choices, listen to your gut and try to live authentically. Someday there will be someone you inspire too.
11. Clean Your Workspace
Yup, I said it. If you know me, you know when I get going, by the end of the day my studio is an absolute mess. I used to convince myself that if the studio wasn’t a mess, then I wasn’t creative that day. There is some truth to that, but there is such a thing as creative mess. I’ve learned to find my balance where essentially my style of chaos is now contained chaos - as conflicting as it sounds. I have drawers of projects that are in progress. They are put away, but they are still very much a mess of ideas. However, they are contained in a drawer. I can still see my computer and my desk and find the necessary things I need to keep a balance with other priorities without falling all over boxes of chain and loose beads fallen on the floor. With that being said, it keeps things functional and productive which is why you need to clean your workspace!
12.Have FUN! and FINISH Something
Have we forgotten why we decided to have a creative job in the first place? It’s because we never wanted to wake up and hate Mondays. It’s true. If you hate Mondays, you don’t actually hate Mondays - you just hate your job.
You are lucky. You have a creative mind! You chose to wake up and LOVE everyday of the week because what you do is FUN!
Creative minds are always churning and when one great idea comes, sometimes another one overlaps. Do attend to all great ideas (first rule of thumb was create lists!), but remember great ideas are just ideas. You can’t really take credit for them unless you bring that idea to life, which requires finishing it!
Renaissance inspired ruff collar shoulder dress
Statement Piece inspired by sea creatures.
Behind the Scenes-
Blue velvet Ruff Collar in progress.
Behind the scenes-
Construction of colorful statement piece. For a rainy day. Brights.
Behind the scenes-
Golden punk piece. Bib and Shoulder piece combo. Someday we’ll make it to the Met Ball.
Inspiration for Sea Creature inspired statement piece
What’s Inspiring us today-
Seeing the view of the city from Brooklyn, I’m always in awe of it. I don’t think it will ever get old.
Duende Original one of a kind. Bib and Shoulder Piece.