2016-2019 Shanna Lenè Hattaway- All Rights Reserved

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Finding Inspiration

I was perusing Reddit the other day and I came across this question...

"I have started drawing and while I'm not very good I still like it but I'm not very creative, I draw the same thing over and over again and in art class I have no idea what to draw, should I just give up art?"

It got me thinking. So many people think that we are born "creative" or "talented", when that's not actually the case. They assume that they can't do something that requires creativity because they think that this is a quality that they simply don't have. I responded with the following.

Creavtivity isn't something that you're born with. It is a muscle that gets stronger with use. The same goes with talent. It is the relentless pursuit of something you enjoy. As you do it more and more, you get better at it. People seem to have a natural talent for something, but really it's because they enjoy doing it and pursue it regularly, which in turn, hones their skills.

It seems more like you have what we call "artist's block". When our inspiration starts to become stagnant and we just can't think of anything new or original to draw. Here are some tips that I use to reignite my creativity whenever I become stuck.

  • Take a break. You may be thinking about it too hard. Sitting there staring at a blank sheet of paper trying to think of what to draw doesn't do much for inspiring creativity, so, go do something else for a little while.

  • Take a shower. I know that sounds weird, but personally, it helps my mind to relax. A relaxed mind is an open mind and you'd be surprised of the brilliant ideas that pop into your head.

  • Take a walk outside. Go enjoy nature. The world is full of beautiful things. This too is also relaxing, and like I said, a relaxed mind is an open mind. Don't forget a camera so you can take some reference photos.

  • Look at what other artists are doing. Browse through their work. Feel free to try and mimic their style or put your own twist on their subject matter. This is how we've all learned. By copying. But be advised, it's when you try to sell something as your own work that it becomes a copyright infringement.

  • Take a class or watch some tutorials on youtube. There are hundreds of amazing art videos out there for free. I have taken some really awesome art classes on skillshare, which is only $15 a month, and the first month's free.

  • Keep a running list of ideas. I write down ideas in my bullet journal, pin them on my pinterest board or put them in my Notes on my phone so that I won't forget them, because I will forget them. I am very forgetty.

The short answer is, no. If you enjoy drawing, then don't give up. Give these tips a try and build up your creativity muscles. Keep your old work so you can look back and see how much you've improved.

We all go through the moments of doubt where we think to ourselves, "this is garbage, no one will like it. I should just give up", but we can't. It's too much a part of who we are. Nearly every single thing I paint or draw goes through what I like to call The Ugly Phase. I have to talk myself through it and remind myself that it will pass. As you get better, you will notice that you begin to doubt yourself less and less and one day you will be giving the advice. ;)