The pursuit of art is a long and winding road. Craft development is a never-ending cycle, and the artist’s path requires patience, lots of trial and error, and true love of the process. Sometimes we can hit droughts in productivity that may be hard to escape. Luckily, all it usually calls for is a shake up of our daily habits or a new perspective on our work. Here are some quick tips on how to avoid sinking into the quicksand of the creative doldrums.
Focus On Quantity Over Quality
Working in greater quantity loosens up your creative juices and you actually end up making more great work. The more you create, the more you learn, and the more you improve. The real point being, that quantity ultimately leads to quality in the long run and will help you improve at a faster rate.
In the book, Fear and Art by David Bayles and Ted Orland, the authors share an anecdote about a pottery teacher who divided his class into two groups. One group had the semester to work on making a perfect pot. The other group was instructed to create as many pots as possible. The result was that the quantity group produced better pots because they had more practice. The quality group spent more time focusing on perfection, so they didn’t have the time to practice and learn from their mistakes.
Play Like A Child
Have you ever watched a child learning to walk and observe the way they’re exploring their environment for the first time? They’re hungry to learn and take in as much information as they can about the world. They try to get their hands on anything new they can, and learn more about it. That’s what we’re doing with our creativity when we make art. We’re children who are free to explore and soak up whatever we can when we connect with our source.
The idea of play allows us to learn in a natural and cognitive way. Certain modern art environments don’t encourage this enough. This idea goes hand in hand with quantity, where you must let yourself go, and turn off that inner editor as you reach for ways to experiment. Remember, You have to have fun with it, and that involves not taking the process too seriously.
Experiment With The Time Of Day You Create
Everyone has a different take on what time of day is best to create. Many people say you should do most of your mental heavy lifting in the early part of the day (which personally, works best for me). That way, it doesn’t become a gnawing obligation throughout the day. However, I spoke to a friend who disagreed and said he actually works better in the later part of the day, as he needs the morning to warm up his cognitive muscles before he can really give his best creative effort. So, clearly, there’s no one size fits all. If you’re unsure of your magic time, play around with it, and when you find it, protect it, and block it off in your schedule, so others know not to disturb you.