friends playing instruments at a beach campfire

5 Ways to Overcome the Creative Blues

Almost every artist has hit a mental roadblock at one time or another and has experienced the creative blues.

This common phenomenon can be triggered by doubts about our artwork and the meaningfulness of our creative efforts. If you are struggling for inspiration here are 5 Ways to Overcome the Creative Blues.

Surround Yourself With Other Creatives

three friends jumping above snow

Creative people have characteristics which us more vulnerable. Such traits can lead to feelings of social alienation. That’s why it’s good to be wise about the people you let into your life. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who make you feel like anything is possible. The people you associate with will influence your thoughts and behavior.

Hanging out with friends who share similar creative pursuits and ambitions can really motivate you, push you through creative slumps and even challenge you to become more successful. According to Psychology Today, “Creative people are more likely to be productive and more original if surrounded by other creative people.”

Give Yourself a Break From Technology

friends playing instruments at a beach campfire

Nowadays technology is a necessary evil, yet most successful creatives realize its value and use it daily. Social media channels like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter are useful tools to connect with your tribe and brand and market your products.

Social media can be a wonderful way to find inspiration, but it’s also a place to compare yourself to others. Some artists experience dissatisfaction, desperation, the creative blues, and even depression when they compare themselves to others. Theodore Roosevelt is often credited with saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” 

Too much technology is known to increase levels of stress which makes it difficult to concentrate and blocks creativity. Downtime is important and necessary, because it allows our minds to process information and remember it. When the brain is constantly stimulated it prevents this process.

Believe it or not listening to music, watching TV or talking on your cell phone is NOT downtime. Neither is time spent on your computer, Instagram or Facebook!

Try Something New

A woman with drumsticks sitting at a drum set

If you find you are stuck-in-a-rut and feeling blue, it may help to try something new. Give yourself a break from your norm and read a book on a new subject, play an instrument, watch an instructional YouTube video, take a workshop, or try using a different medium to create. 

For instance, if you are a realistic painter, try abstract painting. Or if you paint try writing or if you write, try painting!

Overcoming the creative blues is one of the reasons why I started blogging. Blogging and writing is another way for me to create and express myself which always leads me to new painting ideas!

Clean Your Environment

A vacuum cleaning up colorful confetti

Your workspace is not just an office or a studio, it is your creative environment. We are a product of our environment so if your environment is dark, cluttered, dusty, cramped or messy, how can you create at your best? Most likely you will not perform or focus when you are uncomfortable.

Beat the creative blues by clearing your desk, organizing loose papers, art supplies, books and other materials. Tidying up will go a long way toward enhancing your creativity and efficiency.

Make sure you are happy with the colors that surround you. Research shows that color can play a major role in our overall state of well-being. The colors we surround ourselves with directly influence the way we feel, relax and create. To learn more about color, check out How to Use the Hidden Meaning of Color in Your Art.

Surround yourself with comfortable, favorite things that make you want to stay and work within your creative work environment!

Get Back To Nature

a person in the forest looking through binoculars

A recent study found that people retained knowledge and de-stressed better after a walk-in nature than after a walk in a dense urban environment. Constantly dodging traffic and processing a barrage of information leaves people fatigued. The 2020 report also states that when people are under more stress, walking in nature results in the largest decrease in cortisol levels.

Overcome the creative blues and get in touch with your inner child. Allow yourself time to think, explore and wander aimlessly through a garden, visit a garden center, or take a nature walk. Children are the best creators of all, become one again.


This guest post is by Lori McNee. She is an American artist, social media influencer, published author, and popular art blogger at www.LoriMcNee.com Fine Art & Tips. When not in her studio, Lori enjoys skiing or trekking mountain tops, photographing nature and teaching painting workshops around the world.

The featured image is by Kindel Media/Pexels. All other photos are from royalty-free photo sites.

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