Staying at the top of your creative mindset during the crazy times we’re living in is not always an easy task. It can be incredibly frustrating to get stuck in a rut due to circumstances seemingly outside of your control and if your business depends on creativity, it can be a bit scary to be feeling uninspired. We asked a few of our industry friends to weigh in on how they stay inspired while navigating a pandemic and on a day to day basis. These simple and helpful tips will motivate you to keep it moving in spite of roadblocks! Keep reading for our nine ways creatives can stay inspired.
1. Trying Something New
“I’ve found that trying something new helps my brain work in different ways and frees up my thought cycle so there’s more margin for imagination” mentions Dallas based wedding photographer Sami Bruemmer of Sami Kathryn Photography. “Trying out painting, a dance cardio class, baking a new recipe or experimenting with a craft project lets you flex your creative muscles in different ways and teach us how to explore our full capacity for innovative thought!”
Rachel Davis of North Texas planner Maxwell and Gray agrees. “I’ll try a new recipe that I haven’t tried before. I’m not very good in the kitchen so I keep it simple, but I’ve conquered some fun ones like Dalgona coffee and homemade flour tortillas!”
Research has been done to support the importance of utilizing fine motor skills frequently in order to stay at the peak of cognitive ability.
2. Take Care of Your Brain
A lot of people have been using this extra time to focus on self care, but self care doesn’t always mean skin care regimes, home workouts and deep conditioning. It’s just as important to take care of your brain. “I have been reading a lot of books, some dedicated to business, others are just fun and fiction…seeking out creative communities via social and honing my craft through a lot of [online] education courses and webinars” says Linda Lyons of Lyons Events.
This idea of continuing education in the down time is echoed by Kelly Veal from Oklahoma based florist, Poppy Lane Design “I’ve taken two online classes with one of my all time favorite California (floral) designers! They’re so fun and challenging, I’ve learned new tricks, have worked with some amazing products and even made new “online friends!”
3. Cultivate Your Ideal Creative Space
It can be difficult to feel inspired or creative when your workspace is messy, chaotic or crowded. Hannah Heres of DFW based planner and paperie, MK Event Boutique notes that “walking through some of my favorite home design and decor stores” (or browsing online if they’re closed!) allows her to keep her creative juices flowing. We ourselves may be guilty of having a pinterest board or two dedicated solely to office decor, categorized by color or based on the cover of a book we found at Anthropology. Even if an office makeover isn’t in the cards right away, there is no harm in dreaming up your ideal space!
4. Do A Brain Dump
Another tip from Sami Kathryn Photography: “Sometimes there is so much anxiety & overwhelm in life that I find it hard to focus and be creative – especially during uncertain or chaotic times like the ones we’re living in now! One of my favorite ways to overcome this is my writing out everything that’s in my head – what I’m anxious about, what I need to accomplish, ideas for business projects, household to-do’s… whatever is consuming all my thoughts! Just getting it all down on paper with no judgement relieves the anxiety and pressure, and gives me space to think more freely and creatively.”
5. Step Outside
Is there anything a little Vitamin D can’t fix?? So many of our friendors mentioned getting outside and enjoying nature when we asked how they stay inspired! “Taking my pup on a walk and seeing how stoked he gets about the same route we take reminds me that there is always joy and newness to be found, even if it feels like I’m doing the same things day after day.” Rachel with Maxwell and Gray reveals. And if you’re venturing into the outdoors, try leaving your phone behind! The idea of a distraction-less walk may be just the key to jumpstart your creativity when you return. Lauren Garza at Houston based florist Flora and Fauna says “I’ve been taking advantage of this fabulous weather by taking very long walks (about 5 miles a day!)” Props, girl!!
6. Break Out Those Airpods
If you can’t leave your phone behind on your daily walk, if you’re doing daily chores, or even just sitting at your desk, breaking out your airpods or headphones to listen to some content is a great way to multitask. The top answer we received when we asked the question “how do you stay inspired?” was listening to podcasts! When you’re feeling creatively drained, there are certainly at least one (or 25) podcasts dedicated to that exact problem. Trying something a podcast suggests is a great way to get the wheels moving past your slump! Our team recommends: Goal Digger Podcast, NPR’s How I Built This or Creative Rising!
7. Set A Schedule / Set a Goal
A lot of people have found themselves trying to manage working from home (which might be completely out of the norm), while also doing a bunch of other things. Kelly with Poppy Lane Design says “I’m currently homeschooling and trying to manage Poppy Lane Design so I have to be mindful of hours I spend “teaching” and hours I devote to “work”. It helps me feel more organized and calm when I have a scheduled time for each.”
Setting goals to complete long overdue projects into that schedule may also spark unexpected creativity. “My goal while out of the studio is to finally finish up many long overdue projects. I’ve been working on a complete renovation of my website.” says Laruen of Flora and Fauna.
8. Focus on the Family
While it’s so important to harness this down time into productive/useful energy, it can also be just as important to take very deserved time to focus on your loves ones. “It is so rare for us to have time with family during the springtime / wedding season. I don’t know if it’s actually the most beautiful spring we’ve had in years or if the beauty comes from the time we have been given to slow down and be with family. Either way it is such a gift” says Oklahoma based florist, Katie Carpenter of Ever Something. “I just know that when things get back to a more predictable schedule that I will miss these slower times and dream about time, at home, with family.”
Brittany Carney of Houston based Tiny Mum Photography uses her daughter as a subject in her work to spark creativity. “She is and has always been so inspiring to me. She’s the reason I started photographing! Her spontaneity, her beauty, and her weirdness (for lack of a better word) keeps me on my toes. And since I’m locked inside with her, why not document it.”
9. Take a Break
When all else fails, take a break! “Sometimes when I’m working on a project and hit a wall, my first instinct is to just try to power through… which usually results in frustration! Taking a break helps me clear my head and get a fresh perspective” reveals Sami Kathryn Photography. Whether to you that means 20 minutes or 2 months, we couldn’t agree more! Working on something that has you feeling unmotivated and frustrated will likely yield mediocre results. Take a break and pick it up when you’ve cycled through this list!
Thank you to all the wedding pros who kindly shared their tips on how creatives can stay inspired during this time!
Are you also a creative with children? Read our how to guide for managing your work while home with the kiddos here!
Written by Molly Dysart