Here are are some ideas for fostering more creativity, balance and productivity.
Clear out the cobwebs. Crank up the tunes and do a fast and furious studio clean-up. This helps reduce distractions allowing you to focus on work and not on all the things that are out of place.
Have your workspace, tools and project set up the night before.
Have a few projects, in different stages of ‘doneness’ on hand. When you are stuck and struggling with a piece, put it aside and work on something else. While you are lost in another piece or process (or sleeping!) your subconscious is still exploring the previous project and often insights will come to you when you aren’t trying to worry it into submission.
Have a creative problem to solve. Doing the same thing the same way produces predictable (and sometimes boring) results. When we take on a project that poses some struggle—we tend to learn more and have dynamic results.
Deadlines and commitments: Creative breakthroughs often happen under (reasonable) pressure. A show application deadline, a competition, a commission––all can spur new ideas and enthusiasms.
Tunes, podcast or books on tape can help drive a mood and productivity.
Share. Many of us work alone. Having friends (in person or online) to bounce ideas around with and to encourage each other is powerful.
Take a class! Learn something new. Schedule a play date to explore what you learned as soon as possible after class—to ride the wave of exploration and inspiration—and to reinforce the techniques you just learned.
I taught workshops throughout the United States and Canada and in my dreamy studio in Portland, Maine for 30 years. The coolest creative people traveled from all over the world to study with me giving me the best job imaginable. Just as I was winding down teaching on...