At some point or another within business, whether you're a photographer or a creative business owner, you're going to get into a funk. You'll wake up one morning and feel totally uninspired. It's normal, and it happens! Sometimes, it can last what feels like weeks. It happens to me, and I know it's happening because I start to feel bored, or frustrated.
So what can we do to stay inspired? Or get re-inspired? Over the years, I've come up with a few foolproof ways which always get me back in the creative zone.
Without fail, if I get outside into nature, (or even recently in the city of London, which shocked me!) I get inspired. Changing up your surroundings can be a really quick way to get a spark of a new idea. For my photography, I'm incredibly inspired by locations. I can literally start to imagine photoshoots when I'm in an area I find inspiring. So get outside, take a walk, look around you more, and see what ideas come flowing.
This might seem obvious, but watch movies. Watch your favourite movies, watch movies which are supposedly "arty." Immerse yourself in a new genre. Watch the colours, see how the director chose to make transitions. What is the light like? What are the characters like? Make notes, and see if you can come up with any ideas for your next creative project based on that. I once did a whole series of images based on the Baz Luhrmann "Romeo and Juliet" and it's still one of my favourite projects!
Listen to your favourite music:
One thing that I really like to do is listen to the lyrics of songs when I'm feeling uninspired. Sometimes I'll go back and listen to my favourite songs, and really LISTEN. What's being said? What pictures pop into my head when I'm listening? Is there any way that I can take those ideas and create pictures out of them?
You can also listen to cinematic songs. Hans Zimmer is incredible, and creates real emotion with his music. Movie soundtracks in general are emotive. Listen to the soundtrack of your favourite film, and see what ideas come to you whilst listening. Could you create a series of work based on how the music from a film made you feel? It could be interesting to listen to a soundtrack of a movie you've never heard before, because you won't have any preconceived ideas.
Go somewhere new:
Whether you've got a trip planned to a different country, or you want to visit a new town in your area that you've never been to before, heading somewhere new is always a quick way of getting inspired.
Pinterest is a minefield of ideas, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming! But whenever I'm feeling a bit stuck, Pinterest can be a great place to get my imagination rolling. Pick a topic, and type in various search words for it. Make a new board and start to pin whatever you feel drawn to. Do this for 15-20 minutes, and then go back and take a look at your board. What do you see? What kinds of themes are present? What colours have you been drawn to? Is there a theme? Use these ideas as the basis of a new project.
A bit of an obvious one, but follow people who inspire you on Instagram! See what you're drawn to, and get into the habit of saving the images you like. Whenever you're feeling a bit stuck, it's nice to be able to go into your folders and get inspired again.
Talk to Friends:
What are friends for if they can't help you work through a time of creative block? I find that when I'm feeling stuck, and I hang out with my friends, the things we talk about sometimes lead me to feeling inspired. If anything, though, it often just brings me a sense of relief and calm, which then frees up my emotional space to get creative again. Sometimes it's not about getting an idea, but offloading so that you can make space for ideas to come.
As I've just attended a workshop, I can't begin to stress how great it is to immerse yourself in a topic for a few days. Being surrounded by creative people, listening to someone share their story, trying out new techniques and learning new things is a one way ticket to inspiration! Look for workshops in your area that you would like to attend, and book one.