Tips for Refreshing Your Creativity + Inspiration
As a person who creates for a living, creating with a fresh perspective can sometimes feel like work. I have found that it is not always a natural, fun process to keep new ideas flowing, and even when you have an idea you love, it can be hard to chase it with as much momentum as you started.
Creating what you’ve dreamed up is such an amazing, fulfilling task. There are few things that excite me more than when a vision for a photo or a project comes together. But what do you do when your creativity is strained by your lack of inspiration? What do you do when you aren’t flooded with ideas that make you jump with excitement at the possibilities?
Here’s a few ways to refuel your creativity and refresh your inspiration on those days when you just need it.
1. Sit with your thoughts.
I know it seems like the opposite of what you should be doing— you should be out photographing or designing or creating with your hands, right?? But some of us need those moments of still for our thoughts and ideas to really be drawn out. Throw on your favorite album, grab a cup of coffee (hah, sometimes these two are all I need for inspiration to ensue), and think about a project you would love to do. If ideas pop into your head, write them down. It’s okay to dream a little bit here.
2. Make a mood board.
Mood boards are perfect for dreaming out an idea. They’re all about a mood— so think about photos, colors, and themes that work well together, that encompass a feeling. You’ll be surprised how it opens a creative flow. It is so helpful to be inspired by other’s work, to gain someone else’s perspective, to build off an idea and make it your own. Sometimes I scroll through my liked posts on Instagram, screenshot the ones that speak to me, and I have a collection that's instantly inspiring. (Obviously) Pinterest in another great way to browse for photographs, quotes, and colors to add to your mood board.
3. Look through your past projects.
It’s kinda weird to think about, but we can be inspired by our own work too. Whether we’re encouraged to grow, to complete an idea we once had, or to celebrate how far we have come, looking back on what we’ve made can give a desire to make something new, something better.
4. Try something different.
Here’s the step where you go out and do. Photograph, write, paint, design, decorate— whatever your thing is, dedicate an afternoon to exploring a different way to approach your craft. For me that looks like photographing in another lighting than I’m used to, styling in a way that isn’t my first instinct, taking the photo from an obscure angle, or being more free spirited in my captures than I might normally be. You never know, you might find a new approach that you absolutely love!
Every time I work on a project with another likeminded creative, I am filled with ideas that could only have flourished through their input. Collaboration is a magical blend of personalities into a grand idea, it brings new perspectives that expand into something even more beautiful. People call out creativity in us.
The process of refreshing your creativity is all about having an open mind, an open heart to something new. It’s about going back to the passion behind your ideas, the reason why you fell in love to begin with-- that childlike wonder. And it’s about being present where you are, seeing that it’s okay to make mistakes, to be real, to grow.
What have you found that's useful to you when you need to refresh your creative spirit? Tell us in the comments below! We'd love to be inspired by you, friend!
Xo, holl + lil