The stress and disruption of the pandemic have left many artists with a sense of ennui and a lack of direction. Art should never be restricted, but the pandemic has forced quarantines and lockdowns that have left artists unable to access their studios or enjoy the freedom of movement they need to stoke their inspiration. It is a natural part of the creative process to seek inspiration. Now, artists must find other ways to be motivated. They need to expand their horizons and consider different ways of seeking the spark.
Creative and literary websites, such as Words for a Friend by entrepreneur Rob Brazell, and artist collectives on social media and online forums are unconventional ways to collaborate and seek understanding from fellow artists. But it could nurture the closeness and mirror the supportive environment of an artists’ retreat.
Whether you are a painter, a musician, or a writer, the experience of doing something outside of your comfort zone might be exactly what you need to allow your creativity to flow.
Change Your Routine
When you fall into a routine, it can cause your brain to become attached to the habit. By disrupting this mundane cycle, you give yourself a sense of controlled chaos. This disruption could also help to spark your mind to come up with thoughts and ideas that can lead to inspiration.
New experiences are a fantastic way to help your mind roam free and avoid feeling stifled. You can learn a new language, take a class on art restoration, teach yourself to read music, or pick up an instrument.
Bring Nature Inside
Surround yourself with plants. Grow herbs for your kitchen and nurture vegetables for you to learn how to cook and eat healthily. Add plants that clean air and release relaxing aromas, such as dragon tree, peace lily, lavender, and citronella.
Get Back into Reading
Your concentration may have suffered due to the anxiety and unsettling feeling of dealing with the pandemic. Work through this block to get back your focus by reading. Order books from local bookstores and by authors of color and different gender presentations.
Indulge in reading outside of your usual preferences and experience world and ideas that are outside of your current horizons. You may find that it gives you a sense of stability and opens your mind to exploring concepts and beauty that you have not thought of before.
Part of the reason the pandemic has caused so much distress to artists is the way it has taken away their movement and ability to perform and showcase their work. It has left many artists wondering if there is a future for them and their art form after the pandemic ends.
A vision board could help to remind you about why you are an artist and what you love about your art. It can help to reinforce your love of your art and crystallize your ideas into plans for the future of your art form.
Try out an art form that is different from yours. If you are a dancer, look into painting with watercolors. Classical musicians should try out poetry or spoken word performance. Writers should try out expressive dance or learn acting expressions.
The change in expression while remaining in the creative arena might help you to unblock your mind from whatever is keeping it feeling restricted.
Learn about Old Masters
Connect with the history of your art form by researching or taking a class on how it started. Understanding the creative expressions of the artists who created the artistic form or pioneered the style of music can help you to understand the beginnings of inspiration.
Seeing the way your creative field grew and took meaning over time can help you understand why you are attracted to the art form. Reaching a state of understanding and clarification about your approach and attraction to the art form can help you find more ways to approach creativity.
Dealing with Emotions
If you know that your lack of inspiration is due to a heightened sense of anxiety and stress, then you own it to yourself to learn how to deal with these emotions. Artists are very susceptible to emotions, so it may feel like you cannot get your worries under control.
Break out of the need to control and learn how to sit with it. Anxiety is usually the body’s way of telling you that you are unhappy or being negatively stimulated. Sit down in a quiet and dark room and try out different deep breathing techniques until you find one that works for you.
Try out guided meditation apps and videos to help you give your brain a chance to slow down and catch up with your body. Focus on the moment. Try not to think about the future or the fear of anxiety. Try to think about how it is enough to get through today. Meditation can help you to stay present and focus on the right now. That way, you just might rediscover the inspiration you’ve been waiting for to make art again.