New Emma Inks Designs are finally here, but this collection has not been an easy one, I got myself in a bit of creative rut but have finally dug my way out!
My little business absolutely exceeded my expectations in the beginning, I made more sales and received more support than I ever could have imagined. Of course I am eternally grateful for such a successful first run but my optimistic side presumed that the only way from there was up. Oh boy was I wrong, the sales stopped rolling in and my enthusiasm was replaced with self doubt.
When you are questioning every move you make, and are worried about money, it is hard to feel motivated and creative. Luckily I’m pretty resilient and with a few simple changes to my routine and attitude I rediscovered my creativity and am now back on track, so I thought I would share a few simple ways I managed to get out of my creative slump.
Know that things will go wrong
It doesn’t matter how well you plan ahead at some point down the line something will go wrong or not meet your expectations. I have learned not to let these stumbles hold me back; instead of dwelling on mistakes I am learning from the experience and quickly moving on.
I know it’s not always possible for people to have a space of their own to create in but if you can I would try and make even a little nook where you have space to create.
The combination of getting a co-working place at Camden Collective and finally finishing my home office has increased my productivity and motivation exponentially. My brain just seems to work so much better having separation between work and social space. Even though I still work late into the night and most days, I now have reclaimed the livingroom as a chill out space where I can fully wind down and recharge ready to start again the next day fully re-energised.
Work on something else
Creativity can’t be forced but if your ideas aren’t flowing don’t just give up on the day completely, find something unrelated to do and you’d be surprised where inspiration comes from. Even if it doesn’t at least you’ve been productive.
When your to-do list is pages long locking yourself indoors to get shit done seems like the only option, but for me being caged just doesn’t work. Taking time to go outside once a day gives me so much more clarity and energy. I totally get that when you are stressed, going out may seem like a waste of time but a little fresh air is always worth sparing a few minutes for.
Talk about it
Whether it’s online or in real life find other creative people to talk through your process or problems. Without other creatives to bounce ideas off, ask questions to and talk through concerns I would have struggled beyond belief. Don’t feel like you have to do everything alone, reach out to others and work through your creative rut.
Even if your brain isn’t in the game turn up and give working a shot. As with doing something else (mentioned above) you might not get done what you were planning but doing something always feels better than nothing.
Look for inspiration
Read a magazine, watch a movie, read a blog, listen to music, scroll through Pinterest, or go outside. There is inspiration everywhere; use the things, places, or people you love to help you get in the creative zone.
Do what you love
Don’t get stuck trying to guess what other people want, creativity can’t be tamed – do what you love and let your unique style flow.
I got stuck in a creative rut after I started questioning myself; I was getting beyond frustrated that my drawings were not coming out as I wanted so I tried sketching something else. Travel is my one true love and as soon as I started pencilling out Zion National Park it just flowed and that was the starting point for the travel collection. For some reason this one doesn’t sell at least I can still be proud of what I’ve made because these drawings were created from the heart.
Change Things Up
If nothing seems to be working then switch things up, remember you are a creative you don’t need to follow standard rules or routines. Maybe even something as simple as changing your colour palette or place of work will give you a fresh perspective, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
Remember why you started
It’s easy to get distracted by the outside world but don’t let that sideline you, remember why you decided to pursue your creativity in the first place. For me I simply HAD to, I had pushed my creativity to the side for so long and following my passion was well overdue.
I hope you found at least some of these helpful and encouraging. If you have any tips of how to get out of a creative rut let me know in the comments below.