Imagine a big wheel like those found at amusement parks. Makes the wheel rotate and what is at the top will move down. If there is enough energy, the wheel shall continue its course and what was at the bottom, will come back up to the top.

Creativity follows a similar path. There are ups and downs. If the move is strong enough during the descent, the ascent is going to be easy, but if the energy is low, the course will stop at the bottom and will remain there until a strong thrust put the wheel back in motion.

Photo by parry26 /

Photo by parry26 /

The Ups and Downs

I do not know if you experiment the same thing, but as for me, I observed that my artistic production follows cycles. During the ups, I do two to three paintings simultaneously, and once they are finished, I start new ones. When I have many paintings accumulated, I have no choice to go for the less exciting step to give them a title, take pictures, scan some of them, update my archives, find storage for each one and decide if I will offer them in the online store, show them on an art exhibition, keep them as a reference, recycle or discard them. Meanwhile, I have to slow down or even halt the movement of the wheel of creativity. I wish I could enjoy the freedom to paint without having to worry about the rest, but it is not realistic you will agree.

When these tasks are completed or in the process to be, I find myself with a new challenge that to bring back the creative movement. This is where the traps of doubts, avoidance or procrastination are dangerous. To help me overcome them, here are some strategies that I use. Perhaps they will help you too if you live a similar situation.

6 Strategies to Bring Back Energy to the Wheel

  1. Clean up your creative space. Make it pleasant to work in and more efficient. Clean up, discard or recycle what no longer serves you and make room for new experiments. Handling your art supplies is sometimes enough to make the wheel turn again.
  2. Paint anyway. Even if you do not know which direction to take or have doubts, paint! Prepare some colors, paper or a canvas, your brushes or other painting tools. Let go and fully dive into the process. It is often in these moments without any expectation that we do the greatest discoveries or find a new creative path that will take us forward for a while.
  3. Try another medium. Working with another medium and out of our habits is challenging, but at the same time, it tends to fire up our curiosity and imagination. This is often all it takes to restart the wheel at full speed.
  4. Deliberately backed you up against a wall. I admit that this is not the most comfortable situation, but to put yourself deliberately in a situation where you absolutely must push the wheel is sometimes a necessity. Examples: You promised an artwork on a fixed date. You have committed yourself to produce x number of paintings for an exhibition coming soon.
  5. Take a break. Go for an outdoor stroll, see friends, go to the movies, visit an exhibition, etc. The important point here is to do things that you love and that make you feel good. After, it’s always easier to regain the enthusiasm and energy to go back to create unless you are one of these tortured artists who prefer to create in an unstable or perturbed emotional state. In this case, I’m sure you already know what to do…
  6. And if the lack of inspiration is the problem, check out this list of 50 sources of inspiration I published on the blog. Here is the link.

Thanks for your visit and see you soon,

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