Monday was supposedly the most depressing day of the year.
No idea why.
Maybe it's just cold and damp; the radio news failed to fully explain why it was the most depressing day of the year.
Somehow this fact infiltrated my brain, and I just couldn't seem to get my artistic mojo going on Monday.
I started a painting, it didn't start well.
I did a few quick sketches, they didn't go well either.
I managed to prime a couple of canvases and varnish a finished painting but that's hardly creative is it?
In the end I caught up on my bookkeeping that that's the most uncreative thing I do, but it is necessary to run a business so the day wasn't wasted.
However I have a few creative tasks that have served me very well over the years.
Creativity isn't magic, it doesn't fall from the sky like a thunderbolt.
Creativity is a habit.
Here are my five favourite ways of getting the creative habit.
1. Go outside.
Ideally you'll go outside and sketch, but actually just going outside for a a bit of a walk can get your creative juices flowing again. Take the time to look, to really notice. The skies, the changing light, the changing seasons, nature in all its glory. Alternatively notice the mundane, the everyday, the manmade. Have a good look round.
2. Go inside.
Draw a coffee shop scene. Draw a close up of your coffee cup then draw the whole room. Accept the changes. Jot down ideas as they occur you, snippets of conversations. Find the spark to create an idea.
3. Go to a gallery.
Whether its a huge, internationally famous gallery or a little local museum. You can get inspiration from the artwork itself. The story behind it. The way the exhibition has been curated. The "feel" of the place.
I absolutely love drawing in galleries. Standing up in front of the work, using a little hardback sketchbook. It's wonderful. and it never fails to inspire me.
4. Create every day.
Forge a new habit of creating something everyday - a drawing,- passage of writing, a painting..but do it everyday. Draw your breakfast in the morning, draw your shoes when you take them off in the evening.
Little and often is key!
5. Be prepared to fail.
Make a mess. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Work in a medium unfamiliar or on a subject you've never tackled before. Make a promise that you will do something without showing it to anyone or posting on the internet. It's a way of giving yourself permission to explore something new without having make it perfect. If you experiment often enough, you might just discover something wonderful!
Do all if the above and I'm positive you'll banish artist's block and be ready to move towards a bigger project.