How to stay inspired?
This is a question that I have asked myself countless times ever since I took up the camera. We all go through weird periods of our creative lives where we just don’t feel like creating. I know I have felt this way many, many times, and in a variety of ways. There have been times where I’d be depressed and don’t want to do anything, where I’m just “too” busy with other things to create anything, or I just don’t feel inspired.
Humans are fickle beings to say the least. But what makes us amazing is that we are able to feel such a vast array of emotions. Malaise, anger, love, happiness, each and every emotion we feel can fuel a new project or give you the drive to make something amazing.
But what about when you’re just not feeling it? How do you stay creative when creating art is the last thing on your mind?
First off, it’s OKAY to feel like you don't want to create. It happens. Nothing is wrong with you, and the world isn’t going to stop turning. Life goes on. But if you want to get yourself out of that slump, I’m going to share with you a few different strategies that I personally utilize to overcome being uninspired.
Strategy One: Exercise
I get it. Well kind of. I personally love working out and getting swole. For me, it’s always “Gains-o-Clock.” It might have something to do with being my entire life, but there are tons of benefits creatively to getting your pump on.
Exercising gives you a physical outlet for your frustration. All the negative feelings you have towards people in your day job, at yourself, or at the world can totally be reconciled in your mind by taking the 45’s for a ride on the incline bench. Translated from meathead speak, that means that lifting releases endorphins, a feel good chemical in your brain. It’s that rush you feel when you work out, eat chocolate, make love, and drink. If you have ever felt euphoric, you can thank endorphins. Once that wave of euphoria passes, most people are left with a clearer mind, and just feel better in general, which naturally lends itself to being inspired.
Strategy Two: Watch a Movie
Seriously, just veg out and turn on a cinematic masterpiece. But here’s the catch, don’t space out and just enjoy it. Really WATCH it, experience it, take notes on it. Try to notice intricacies in the plot, the shots, or the acting. There’s a reason why movies have such big budgets, a lot goes into production. Writers, directors, actors, editors, etc… Movies are the culmination of hundreds of creatives working together, so there’s going to be SOMETHING you can use to fuel your own creative life.
Strategy Three: Draw
Sometimes your own mind can bring you places where your camera can’t. Drawing lets your mind run free. It doesn’t matter if you’re good, personally I think I’m garbage when it comes to illustration. But does that stop me? Nah. Just start doodling, seriously. It doesn't cost much at all, you can pick up a pad of paper and a pack of pencils on Amazon or Michaels or wherever you want for pretty cheap. Think about different emotions you want to convey and put it down on paper. You can drawing anything from a bunch of thumbnails, fleshing out different concepts, getting an idea of what you want to create, or you can work on one big drawing and put a ton of time and effort, then make your photo based off of your artwork. It’s all at your discretion.
Strategy Four: Read a Book
There are millions of alternate universes at your local library. You can travel back in time, brush up on color theory, delve into dystopian societies, experience the armageddon, or the onset of a zombie horde. All of these stories can fuel your own creativity in a variety of ways, plus it makes you look like a super classy person, not that you already aren’t, of course. You can make a video shoot based on a certain character’s experience, or a photo shoot depicting a key moment in whatever story you’re reading.
Try using these different strategies in tandem with one another. Read a book, draw what you think something looks like. Once you have your idea on paper, put together that shoot together. Get out there and create something amazing!