When you’re sitting there, cranking out content to your clients and they are very pleased with your work – be it paintings and designs, songs and soundtrack cues, photos, writings or whatever it may be – and your inspiration is just soaring, you’re just flying high up in the sky of productivity!
But then there are those days when you forget how you do what you do. When you’re blocked from inspiration and ideas. It’s ok, we all have them, and today I’ll share some of my tips to getting back soaring on that sky. I’ve used these techniques for removing creative blocks when painting album artworks, writing orchestral music for live orchestral film scores, and many other jobs and personal works.
A lot of the times when I see people, including myself, struggling to produce good work or not knowing what to do, it’s often due to them being paralyzed by the white, empty canvas, white board, sequencer, etc. Mistaking this paralysis for a creative block makes you end up not doing anything, or even trying.
Best thing to do then is to just get going with it, even if what you make sucks. Write a few lines of text for your story, load up a brass patch and play some horn melodies and record them, paint a few sketches and thumbnails – just. get. going.
Mimicking or even copying the very best is something you should be doing to become really good. We all do it to some degree already. We see the work of our favorite artists and the success of the ones we regard highly. We want to be able to produce what they can produce, and sometimes even be like them.
So, if the ideas are completely gone for the task at hand, or your inspiration has hit a wall, just look up your favorite artist, soundtrack, etc and mimic the style and overall characteristics of their work. It won’t be like theirs when you do your own, it will just have gained inspiration from it.
I always look at awesome concept artists when I am stuck in my own concept art work or listen to great soundtracks that are similar to the music I need to write – it really helps me with creating good stuff when I am at a loss of what to do.
This is a surprisingly common tip from people suggesting what works for productivity (great that it’s catching on), and a very good one. I remember watching a hangout with some of the greatest film composers of today, and Alexandre Desplat was asked how he can make so many soundtracks in one year and one thing he said was that he takes quick 5 minute naps and that “it’s like magic. The brain just resets!”
There are many studies and a lot of research done on resting and how the brain reacts to lack of sleep and too much sleep. Napping is really beneficial if you keep it under 25 minutes or so. Taking quick 10-20 minute naps will boost your productivity and justreset our waking status so it’s ready for a fresh take on whatever it is you need to do. A 10 minute meditation session works in similar ways for me, so that’s also something to try out.
These three tips are some of my favorite ones. I always try to get going even if I’m out of inspiration – i just do something. I mimic my idols all the time, but it will always come out being my own work with my own touch and style. I love taking naps to boost my daily energy and recharge. I hope these tips will be useful to you!
What works for you? Feel free to comment below.
Until next time – stay creative and awesome!
Co-founder of Evenant, Walid is a composer, mechanical engineer, concept artist and entrepreneur from Sweden. Travelling and exploring new opportunities, always looking for new things to learn and create.