Over the last few weeks I have been so busy working on other things that being creative has taken a little bit of a backseat. Finding the inspiration to sit and design can at times be really challenging when there are so many other things to think about. Starting your own creative business whilst also working on other things leaves you with little time to do everything. Making sure your website is up to date, posting on social media and finding new clients are all really important things to be doing, but it's also important to keep up the creating.
So I have taken some time this week to really think about the reasons why I have been creating less and what I can do to make sure I keep the creativity flowing.
1. Creating at least one page in my sketchbook every day
Whether it's only a five minute quick illustration or a detailed watercolour floral design that took a few hours to complete, doing a sketchbook page every day makes sure that you are constantly creating new work. Some days you might not like what you create but that doesn't really matter. It is about growing your portfolio and developing your skills.
I always date my sketchbooks with when I started working in it to the date I filled the last page. Looking back at my sketchbooks, my current sketchbook is taking me so much longer to fill than any other. Going forward, creating at least one new page a day is really going to help me get back in the creative flow.
2. Completing at least one Skillshare class a week
Skillshare is an amazing platform and is really useful for learning new skills. Having a subscription has been so helpful in discovering new techniques and building my confidence and knowledge in whatever I'm unsure on. There are lots of great classes on loads of topics; I really recommend taking a look. Completing at least one Skillshare class a week encourages me to create new work whilst trying out different techniques and increasing my skills.
However some months I just cannot afford the subscription, in which case I look on YouTube where there are so many videos to pick up new ideas from. If this is the case for you, YouTube is a great alternative.
3. Entering my artwork regularly into competitions
This is something I have been doing for a few months now and really builds your confidence in sharing your work with the world. It is also a great opportunity to create something that is out of your comfort zone.
I make sure to enter the Spoonflower challenge every week. It's free and has a wide range of artists at all different stages who enter.
I enter competitions not with the aim of winning (although that would be nice!) but to do something different and to challenge myself. It breaks up your week and takes you away from whatever you are working on. Entering competitions is also an easy way to give yourself and your work exposure to a whole new audience and might also give opportunity to network with fellow creatives.
4. Spending 10 minutes on Pinterest every day
For a long time now I have been absolutely addicted to Pinterest! I could spend hours exploring and pinning new ideas. Although I now have my business account (which I admit still needs a lot of work to get going), I still use my personal account all the time.
Whenever I am stuck for ideas I always turn to Pinterest. It is by far the best search engine for everything creative and I have so many boards for so many different things.
By spending at least 10 minutes a day on Pinterest, it allows me to be constantly up to date with current trends and to discover new ideas.
5. And lastly...taking some time for myself!
This one sounds super easy to do but is actually probably the hardest to achieve on this list. Whether its catching up on your favourite series, going for a walk or spending time with friends; whatever you enjoy doing to relax it is so important to make time for. It not only helps you recharge your batteries but can also lead to discovering new ideas...inspiration is all around you!
So whenever I am stuck with no inspiration and little motivation, taking some time for myself is the ultimate best way to get my creativity flowing again.