Yesterday I wanted to start a couple of new projects for the shop, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to make. I dug around in my supply closet, found some fabric and yarn, and got started. About an hour in I decided that I really hated what I was making. So I started again. I chose some different colors of yarn, got to work, and I still didn't like what I was making.
I decided that I needed to give myself some mental space - nothing great was going to come from working when I was frustrated and uninspired. I spent the rest of the day not making anything, which felt pretty weird since I'm always working on something. Instead of trying to force inspiration (which never works for me!) I tried a few tricks to find new creative energy (and I came up with some new ideas and sketches in the process!).
Here are my techniques for breaking through a creative wall:
Give yourself the day off (and don't feel guilty about it).
Look at beautiful things. Things you really love and that visually inspire you (a favorite art book, photographs, a gorgeous film).
Read something amazing (passages from your all-time favorite book, quotes from a figure that really inspires you).
Sit quietly and reflect. What kind of work do you want to make? How do you want it to make people feel? How do you want to feel?
Use your sketchbook (just draw anything, it doesn't have to be an actual idea, so don't pressure yourself. I drew amoebas so... it can really be anything!). You can check out my last post about drawing here.
I hope this helps all of you as you walk down the creative path!