Working as an artist or a creative comes with a whole host of challenges, one of the most prevalent of which is simply staying inspired and fresh enough to keep a steady stream of products coming. This is far more easily said than done, and so it takes a lot of intentional work to keep the creative juices flowing. To stay inspired as an artist, consider the following ideas.
Watch Other Artists
One of the best ways to keep your inspiration fresh is to keep a pulse on the rest of the art world. Follow the work of other artists — you never know when their perspectives might trigger a creative burst in your own mind. After all, that’s the ultimate purpose of art. Many artists share that they create in order to inspire other people. For example, Ashley Longshore writes, “I found a joy in making art that is unbridled happiness and freedom…exploring thoughts and life experience and sharing it with the world is such a joy, exhilarating and sometimes terrifying.” For hundreds of other artists, their self-identified purpose is the same: to put their thoughts into the world for the sake of sparking creativity in others.
Curate Your Space
Another great way to stay inspired is to cultivate an environment that feels motivating and energizing. When you surround yourself with carefully crafted details that inspire you and create a workspace that’s equal parts uplifting and comfortable, you’ll be able to get your creative muscles moving at optimal capacity. Consider keeping things clean and fairly minimalistic, with lots of organization and storage to help keep clutter and distractions at a minimum.
Get In Nature
Nature is the world’s original art form, so what better thing to do to keep yourself inspired than to surround yourself with it? Getting outdoors regularly not only will help you stay healthier and more energized, it will also give you tons of inspiration straight from the hand of Mother Earth herself. The colors, symmetry, and dynamic qualities of nature always have something new to offer.
Break The Rules
One of the strategies you’ll frequently hear discussed when it comes to breaking out of the grind and staying on top of your creative game is to break the rules. Artists are already pretty good at this in general, but consider what your personal rules are when it comes to creative work. For example, maybe you always start your workday the same way with some warm-up exercises and then mapping out your primary project for the day — a great way to keep consistency and maintain a clear routine, but also a possible source of a creative rut or stagnation as an artist. To keep things fresh and the ideas flowing consistently, consider changing your approach occasionally, experimenting with a new medium or hybridizing two mediums (collage or kinetic sculpture, anyone?), or even practicing your art in a brand new setting.
Move Your Body
Exercise has a major impact on creative work. There’s the obvious, such as increasing the blood flow to your brain, upping your endurance for physically challenging art, and improving your ability to focus, but the benefits run much deeper. Exercise helps improve your productivity, enhances your memory, and even improves your creativity. Research shows that exercise (and aerobic exercise in particular) helps you grow new brain cells in the hippocampus area of your brain, the area that helps you imagine the future and come up with new ideas.
Any entrepreneur, whether working as a creative or not, is subject to the powerful influence of burn-out. It’s tough to put in the number of hours required to “make it” as an artist while balancing that with the necessary time and effort put into self-care, but the results are worth it. When you prioritize mental health, physical health, and spiritual health, you’ll be more prepared to take on the challenges of the art world during the workday.
Staying inspired as an artist is a challenge, but it’s a crucial factor to be aware of in order to be the best creative you can possibly be. By keeping a regular rotation of healthy creativity-friendly practices, you can set yourself apart from the pack and maintain the clear-headedness needed to be uniquely you.