How I'm pulling myself out of a creative rut
Real talk friends- I’ve been in a creative rut! The thing about social media is that you probably don’t know because I’ve still been sharing fun things daily. Like the good little creative squirrel I am, I stored up acorns of content to last through winter.
I’ve been hosting workshops and the coloring book is going great, so there still is lots of excitement in my world.
But I haven’t been painting. I love doing my client work yet haven’t felt inspired to create new art on my own.
I’m in that energetic void that often comes after finishing a big project. Once I published the coloring book, I’ve been stuck on what I want to do next. It feels like such an accomplishment to bring it into this world and I’ve been more excited about marketing it than I am about making new art.
I have the opposite problem from most artists: I love business. I’ve run 3 businesses and sold 1 one of them. So I treat my art practice like a business and it’s allowed me to support myself for the past 1.5 years as an artist in NYC. I’m pretty darn proud of that!
I love thinking about how I can get my coloring books in classrooms and bookshops around the country. I have ideas of illustrating for the New York Times, publishing a children’s book, and teaching workshops around the world. I like to dream big.
But I need to keep making art for those things to happen.
A few weeks ago when I felt the creative rut sinking in, I knew I needed to start taking action to get back in flow. So here are a few things I’ve found helpful:
I opened up my calendar to talk with folks from this community. The idea was to brainstorm and open the doors for collaboration. This has been SO cool! I’ve talked with several people who came with actual presentations chalked full of ideas (one even involving painting giant chalk art 😅).
I did a mini-digital detox. I went offline from the 4pm to 10am. It sounds small but even just unplugging for that amount of time makes such a difference these days. I read 100 pages of Big Magic, meditated for 30 mins, and did yoga. Getting offline always helps bring me clarity. I came up with the idea of calling this a “Nourish Night” and am going to try to do them more regularly.
I signed up for the next cohort of Terra.do. I’ve been thinking about joining this community for a while after hearing so many good things from friends. It’s a climate bootcamp focused on a deep dive into the full climate change landscape. The more I learn about climate topics, the more inspired I am to create.
I signed up for a pottery class. This was on my 2023 goals list and I’m running short on time to squeeze it in (how is it almost December?!). I want to get into a physical space to find an art community and learn from talented artists.
I’m trying to not being so hard on myself. Creativity come in cycles and I need to trust the seasons of it while still taking consistent action to encourage it to thrive.
I went to the Brooklyn Museum. Surrounding myself with great art is a quick way to tap into inspiration.
One of the ideas that’s come out of the past few weeks is that I’m thinking about creating a coloring book about food systems. It would cover regenerative agriculture, food justice, food waste, etc. I’ve been very focused on clean energy for the past 2 years and think it would be fun to dive into a whole new sector. If you have ideas or work in this space I’d love to talk!
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Ways to support me:
Buy my coloring book! I can’t believe it but it’s almost ~holiday season~. Word on the street is they make very cute gifts.
I’m open for commissions. I help climate organizations simplify their messaging into pretty art.
I host climate art workshops! I’m doing a bunch for holiday parties this year and can customize them for your group/team.
This section for my lovely paying subscribers (and very fitting for today's topic)! If you’d like to access them you can upgrade below.
Free lunchtime art therapy break. I’ve taken some art therapy classes through this practice and they are lovely. Their licensed art therapists offer free weekly online activities on Wednesdays.
How to start Food Sketching. This is on my to-watch list on Skillshare as I begin my new rabbit hole of creating art about food systems.
Lauren Martin’s Instagram. I just love this artist, her style is so playful and vibrant.