Every aspiring artist or creative gets stuck in a rut now and then. You may feel like you have reached your creative peak or be stuck for ideas. Aside from buying quality equipment (for artists, I’d recommend George Weil), there is a lot of wisdom from the great and the good to steer you back on the right track. Here are some tips from famous names of the past to help you overcome your creative block and carry on enjoying your hobby, whether that is painting, writing, sculpting or any other artistic field.
1. Know You Will Not Reach Perfection
Salvador Dali, surrealist painter responsible for some of the most iconic imagery of the 20th Century including the melting clocks and the Chupa Chups logo famously said: “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it”. This liberating statement should let you loosen up and get on the road to the kind of prolific creativity Dali enjoyed (the Spaniard produced more than 1,500 paintings)
2. Go to the Museum
Original 1960s ad-man (and reported inspiration behind TV series Mad Men) George Lois always encourages his students to visit their local museum as “If you want to do something sharp and innovate, you have to know what went on before.” Museums and galleries will provide you with an almost endless source of inspiration and ideas. Take a notebook or sketchpad on your visit.
3. Plan and Look Forward
Ernest Hemingway promotes planning how you will start your next day’s creative work before stopping your current session. By doing this, the For Whom the Bell Tolls writer believes you can easily overcome daunting prospect of a blank page. Not knowing how to start your creative session can cause panic to ensue and leave you artistically debilitated; once you get started your artistry should flow freely.
4. Be Yourself
As examples of pure expression, there are few pieces of art that match those of Jackson Pollock. The American painter said: “every painter paints what he is” meaning that you will achieve the best results by being true to yourself and representing your feelings, preferences and vision. It is fine to be inspired by other styles but try and co-opt these into your own unique way of creating.
5. Be Spontaneous
It has been reported that 1960s Beat writer Jack Kerouac was on the verge of giving up on his craft as well as life in general before he went on the road trip which would inspire his seminal work On The Road. As an artist it is important to be open to new experiences as inspiration could be just around the corner. Or, in Keroac’s case, the other side of the country.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post