There's nothing more frustrating that having the urge to make something and then sitting down to work and drawing a blank. These days my creative time is precious and I never know if I'll get a solid hour in while the baby naps and my older kids occupy themselves or if it's just five minutes in between nursing and changing out the next load of laundry. It's important for me to make it count and I usually do. I sat down to think about how I've learned to make the most of my time and realized I usually revert back to a few specific habits. Here are a few ways I get myself unstuck when it comes to art journaling:
1. I Simplify My Supplies
When I'm trying to incorporate too many ideas or too many specific products in a page I end up feeling overwhelmed and my pages feel forced. I like to get back to paper, photos, and a pen and then see where it leads. Sometimes restricting your boundaries requires new things of your creativity and suddenly you're headed in a new direction.
2. I Work When I'm Feeling Things
I tend to save art journaling for times in my life when I need it most. In my twenties it was pretty often because there were so many big things happening and I had a lot of figuring out to do on paper. These days I am mostly trying to keep our household running and my only alone time is when it's dark and everyone else is in bed. It's an ideal time in my day to process feelings or work through an idea because I'm sitting down with a day's worth of thoughts to work with. Maybe your best time for feeling all the things is as soon as you wake up? Maybe it's only on rainy days? Go with it.
3. I Flip Through My Inspiration Rolodex
If you don't know what a Rolodex is, google it. When I'm fresh out of ideas or can't focus I like to scroll through my Art Journal Inspiration board on Pinterest. It's helpful because I'm always paying attention to things that I might be able to use later and pinning them so my page is full of great color stories, fonts, design elements, illustrations, hand cut shapes, etc. While I never want to copy anyone's work, I find that saturating my mind with other people's work usually helps me piece together something I want to try out and make my own.
4. I Start Putting Things on My Page
Take the pressure off yourself and just get to work. Pretend like no one will ever see it. Use supplies you have plenty of to get that first page out of the way without using up something really good. Once you're working those ideas will come and you'll build on what you started with and get to a place you're excited about.
What techniques do you use to get yourself creatively unstuck?
Need a little more direction or want to try out art journaling for the first time? Check out my e-course, 52 Weeks of Art Journaling.
* Make Something Today print c/o Life.Love.Paper