How many times have you lost your connection to creativity? It happens to us all. Me included. Personally, I haven't had a problem with creating things as of late, but I expect another bout with a lack of inspiration can show up at any time.
Stepping back a bit, I can see my creativity ebbs and flows in a cycle. I can even put a timeline to the pattern, picking events here and there every year which contribute to the decline of creative willpower. Homeschool priorities. Changes in the weather. My husband's work schedule. Getting sick. Miscellaneous little things here and there that may not seem connected are more intertwined with my will to create than one might think possible. I don't know why, but for whatever reason, we seem to treat our creative will as something that sits by itself encased in a bubble.
Everyone loses their creative willpower at some point or another. When this happens, there are a few choices:
1. REST. Maybe you are just tired. Maybe doing a lot of nothing is what you need. Ever hear that saying that you should let your kids be bored so they eventually find themselves motivated enough to get creative. Adults need that too. Rest until you are so bored you get motivated again.
2. Fake it until you make it. Just do something creative. Not a big project like say,your wedding album. Something small. While no photo is insignificant, we can all agree some are not as important as others. Choose one of those photos from everyday events that you have tons of and just scrapbook it. I often choose photos of my cats because I take umpteen million photos of them( I can't help it. They are VERY photogenic).
3. Put Yourself on Cruise Control. Pick something that is easy for you to do. For me, sketches are super easy. I don't take them too seriously. I just cut a few sheets of paper close enough to match the sketch and make the page. I also tend to use a kit when I do this. Everything is matched for me. Little to no thinking is involved. Like to use doilies? Pick your typical go to products and slap them on the layout. Don't overthink anything.
4. Lower Your Creative Expectations. I am not saying your project will suck. Rather, I am saying that you shouldn't force yourself to create something with a goal of it being the most awesome project you ever made. Allow yourself to just let the page be what it is. Don't force yourself to journal a whole lot. Heck, leave the journaling off if you want it to. Design principles? Let's just say you don't always have to follow the rules. This is one of those times where you are making a page just for the sake of making a page and not for the sake of telling a story. GASP. Yes, it's ok to make a page just for the fun of it. You don't have to step into the role of family historian or ultimate design guru every time you make a layout.
5. Get some Guidance. If you need a little creative jumpstart, it's perfectly fine. That's what sketch websites and challenges are for. Pick one. Any one. And just make something. Anything. While you are making your page, it doesn't hurt to keep suggestions 2-4 in mind.
Which now leads me to the next part of this article: the shameless plugging of ScrapbookChallenges.com. Yes, it's true that I am a member of the SBC Sketch Crew, but I have a confession to make. I had an ulterior motive for joining the team. See suggestions 3 and 5 above. Sometimes I want to put myself on cruise control and have a bit of guidance while I scrapbook.
Making decisions all of the time can be crippling to your creative stamina. Letting someone else make a choice for me sets me free to focus my creative intent in other ways. In many ways, it gives me a break so I don't burn out. Say, I choose a sketch. Now my page design is chosen and I am free to play around with my supplies or with a new technique. You shouldn't wait for your creative connection to break.
Using a sketch for Hello Sweetpea allowed me the freedom to experiment with pattern mixing.
For Super Soaker Summer, I chose a sketch and a mood board as my guides. With my design taken care of, I was able to focus on trying a water color technique inspired by the mood board. The mood board also guided my color choices as I selected papers and supplies for my kits.
Creativity ebbs and flows in cycles. Sometimes, it leaves us completely. Rest a bit and then make the attempt to seize inspiration again. You can sometimes prevent creative burnout. Find a way to let yourself work on cruise control on occasion and you just might find those periods of time in which you lose connection to creativity happens a bit less often.
Now it's your turn to seize some inspiration of your own. Head on over the Scrapbook Challenges. New sketches and prompts post each week. Don't forget to share your work in the SBC link up for a chance to win a prize!
Also linking up to the Punk Projects Make Things Craft Challenge for week one.
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