As creatives, we have inspired moments, or as I like to say, surges of creative thought. Sometimes these surges last for days and some last only a few hours. But when they hit, there is nothing that will stop us from producing some incredible work. These surges unfortunately are not everlasting and thus make us reach a block in the road.
It happens to all artists, no one is immune to it. So why exactly does it happen and how do we get out of it?
A creative funk or artist block usually happens when we no longer find our inspiration in our surroundings. Our art has begun an infinite loop of consistency. And not the good kind, like we want to achieve in our editing styles, but that you’re bored with shooting the same locations or same poses or same whatever.
It becomes obvious that we are similar to others and we start to question our uniqueness, need validation for our choices. We feel stale.
When a block happens, it’s unpredictable, they just do. So what can we do to get out? These are the methods that have helped me the most in these times.
Acknowledge your situation.
When I get in a funk, I tend to realize that first and foremost, I’ve been here before. Acknowledge the problem and stare at it head on. Tell yourself. “I have been here before.” For some reason simply knowing and acknowledging a block makes me feel at ease that I will overcome this too.
Change your perspective.
Take a different approach on what you are shooting. Sometimes I feel stale because I am overshooting the same locations. So I hop into the car with my camera and spend some time driving or walking around to discover some place new that WOWS me. I dedicate at least 1 day a month to scout new locations for various types of shoots. Remember that different times of the day and year create different scenes for locations you’ve shot before.
Take a trip, get out of your city. Whether it’s for a day or a week. Being outside of your zone jumpstarts your eyes to seeing the world differently. I recently returned from my travels in Chicago for a wedding and man was it refreshing! Chicago is hands down something on its own. The brick everything. Every direction I would look, there was some structure or style or scene I never see in Naples. The work I produced there is some of my best to date, simply because of how stimulating and exciting I found in the challenge of new places. I am not saying you have to leave your state but if you can, TRAVEL!
I think the most important thing to do is to surround yourself with like-minded creatives. There is nothing better than bouncing ideas off one another. I have found that I always find inspiration in creative clashes with my friends I have many talented and creative friends, who are writers, painters, sculptures, musicians and of course photographers. Reaching out in other mediums can help open your mind to new ways that you probably didn’t think was possible!
Regardless of whether you try one or all of these methods, don’t worry, the creative funk will pass.