The great thing about inspiration is that it’s everywhere. You might get inspired walking down the street and seeing a neat piece of graffiti, or by an amazing busker or even just looking up and taking in the breathless expanse of a clear blue sky. Some people have a natural ability for tapping into their creative potential and harnessing it to make amazing things.
For the rest of us mere mortals, inspiration comes a bit harder. That’s not to say it still isn’t there to be found, but sometimes we’re surrounded by such uninspiring, drab surroundings that we hardly feel even motivated to try. Finding creative inspiration in the mundane is something that all creative people will need to attempt at some point when the dreaded writer’s block or mental brick wall hits. Here are a few tips for preventing, overcoming and owning those creative roadblocks.
1. Remember what drives you and go back to it.
Quite often on our creative journeys we simply plough on ahead to the next stop, rather than taking stock of where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished. When you find that you’re lacking in inspiration, one of the best things to do is to inspire yourself with your own work. It could be a piece of art with significant meaning, or a song you wrote that helped you through a bad breakup. Remembering and taking pride in what we’ve created is a great way to positively reinforce ourselves, take stock of how far we’ve come in our craft, and it might even spur new ideas.
It’s also worth noting that you should always try and keep any significant or inspiring work that you’ve created somewhere safe. There are tons of online tools for digital artists, songwriters and bloggers to publish and archive their work. Make sure that any of your hard copy work is in a safe place too, or at least that you’ve taken some photographs!
2. Channel frustration and explore the unconventional.
This is easier said than done considering we’re looking at confronting a lack of inspiration. However, there is massive value in exploring the unconventional or different. Musicians might find that playing their instrument in unconventional ways (like a drummer hitting the bass drum with a stick) can jolt ideas into motion.
A famous example of this is the song “Creep” by Radiohead. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood, sick of how the song was sounding in the studio, purposefully tried to sabotage his guitar part by adding the loud distorted chugs before the chorus. This of course has gone on to be one of the song’s most endearing features. Let frustration spur you into trying things that would have previously been out of your comfort zone. Explore different genres, check out abstract art, see different shows.
3. Explore the bible or other historical texts.
The bible is full of amazing poetry, stories, poetic illustrations and metaphors. There’s so much we can draw from the bible, and in doing so we are helping to articulate the greatest story ever told. Reading and absorbing God’s word is something we should do regularly, so making it a part of our art and creativity is yet another way we can imprint HIs word on our hearts. Analyse and reflect on David’s Psalms, draw from the rich theological tapestries that Paul paints in his letters, read deeply into the radical and revolutionary Jesus. The beauty of using the bible as inspiration is that it covers every human theme and genre conveyable — and it’s royalty free. You can even apply this to other historical texts, and being widely read will always aid your creativity. Look for opportunities to draw from the thoughts, ideas and creativity of others.
When you’re next surrounded by a mundane creative environment, try the above tips to see where your creativity might lead you. These are only three of the countless ways we can be inspired or take control of the down periods of creativity in our creative journeys. The other beautiful thing about inspiration is that it can strike out of no where. Take heart — writer’s block and the brick wall will always end sometime.
What are some ways you’ve found to find creative inspiration in the mundane? Comment below and have your say!