Breaking Out Of A Creative Slump

Breaking Out Of A Creative Slump

You know what I think the worst feeling is? Going into a creative slump. I loathe when it happens, but to any of us who are creative by nature and trade, occasionally you go into a slump, a mental block if you will, and creativity is nowhere to be found. I will search high and low for inspiration and still nothing moves me to create and be creative. I think though I have found a way to avoid this now.

You see, every day I am surfing around online, and I constantly am finding inspiration. Sometimes it's a movie trailer, sometimes it's a fashion editorial, sometimes it's just a cool ad I come across. A while back I would think to myself, "it would be cool to shoot something like this, or similar to this," and then forget about it by the time the creative slump showed back up. Then a little over a year ago I started to bookmark these ideas I came across. I started a tumblr blog and there I would post the images and videos I came across. Some months I update it much much more, and some months it goes untouched, but it is always there as a reference for things that moved me once, when I need to feel motivated again. Recently I have networked with some stylist and photographer friends on a Pinterest board that we all contribute to, and it is just for inspiration for photo shoots.

So now I have this catalog of work I appreciate, and I can reference it whenever I am in a creative slump, but that's not the only step to breaking my creative slump. You see to actually be creative again I find I need to start creating. So what I do is simple, I find an image I liked on my curated blog of inspiration, and I set out to recreate it. This never fails to break my creative slumps, because as I begin to replicate my brain starts stewing other cool shots and looks for this photo, other ways to make it more my own. Once my brain starts turning like this I find myself coming up with other ideas for things to shoot. When I start getting ideas for new shoots, even in the middle of other shoots, I always take the time to quickly write them down. Normally I just pull out my phone and jot them down, and go back to shooting.

Like I said, creative slumps are the worst, and this works for me, but what works for you? How do you break your creative slump?

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7 Comments

would love to see your pinterest borad if you'd be kind enough to share

Thanks for sharing. It's actually so simple and you pretty much nailed it here. Look at work of others, and just start creating. Work creates inspiration and more work.

Ralph Hightower's picture

Do a Vulcan mind meld with Von Wong.
If you can't do that, then leave a voice mail to yourself or use Evernote to create a note of your idea on your smartphone.

Years ago, I was in the comic book industry for a while. And a writer at one of the professional gatherings got drunk one night and gave some of the best advice on being creative I have ever heard.

"Do not wait for inspiration to start working. Start working and the inspiration will come. Just be prepared to abandon what ever it is you are working on and start over."

Surrey Weddings's picture

very inspiring

Michael Asgian's picture

What works best for me is do a Self assignment

29 ways to stay creative: https://vimeo.com/24302498