Creativity comes in surges for me, and sometimes I go through horrible lulls. I had been going through one of these "dry" times a short while ago. Then I forced myself to complete small little nothings, doodles and sketches that wouldn't take more than 15 minutes. All of a sudden my mind started going a million miles. Today, I realized that I'm in full swing, adding more projects to my little book then I can get to.
But how to decide what to draw (or what to sew, to write, to create) at that point when you feel like you have to force yourself? Go for something easy, with no-pressure, and don't fret if you don't like the results. It's the act of doing it that will help, not the final product.
For themes, there are always prompts and challenges, like the Sketchbook Challenge, Illustration Friday, the A-Z challenge, Communal Global, and Texture Tuesday, among may others that give you the option of posting in groups and visiting other blogs participating.
But for me there's another place where I can almost always count on getting inspiration: books.
I'm a visual reader. I mean, as I read I vividly see the scenes in my mind. Stories associate themselves to images, as well as touch sensations, smells, and tastes. For example, The Turn of the Screw forever makes me feel feverish and brings up the color white to mind.
All it takes are a few lines of a poem sometimes (or a full one like this):
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you-- Nobody--too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd banish us --you know!
How dreary --to be--Somebody!
How public--like a Frog--
To tell your name--the livelong June--
To an admiring Bog!
(In this age of social media and reality tv with so many people shouting for attention and fame, this poem really speaks to me)
That poem inspired this super simple (and not so good) colored pencil drawing:
Although the final image flopped, it got me doing something, putting my pencils on paper.
I'm sharing all this because I think we all go through times where our creativity and motivation seem to move to some dark corner where we can't find it no matter what. I wanted to share a couple of strategies or ideas I've used successfully to force it out of its hiding place. I hope it's helpful to some of you.
Where do you draw your inspiration?