As the world’s most creative conference, Adobe MAX seems to keep on surpassing itself in quality. In 2017, MAX included more than 300 workshops, sessions, labs and preconference events. Visitors are all enthusiastic: 96% indicated they learned new skills which they could apply in their work. In short, Adobe MAX proves to be immensely successful in its mission to keep on inspiring people to create.
However, attending conferences like these not always help you to remain inspired. It might even be the case that you attend such events to regain interest or inspiration in the field. But, despite your efforts to regain interest in creating art – whether it is painting, digital arts or writing – you cannot overcome your creative slowdown. To help you in your journey to becoming more creative again, we’ve rounded up a list with three easy steps to help you regain your creative power.
A timed strategy is what you need
Even your creative heroes, from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway to Adele, have suffered from a creative slowdown. They might not find the words to express themselves or they might be unable to sketch something which they haven’t sketched before. One way to get rid of your creative slowdown is to implement a timed strategy.
By implementing a timed strategy, you force yourself to work on your creativity. By solely focusing on writing a number of words down or by drawing up a sketch, you can get things done much more efficiently since your brain is only fixated on one specific task. Whether you sketch every day for five minutes or whether you say to yourself to write ten minutes every day, it doesn’t really matter.
However, there is one specific amount of time that seems to work incredibly well if you want to retain your focus and that’s 25 minutes. The technique, known as the Pomodoro technique, can help you regain your focus. And, timed strategies help you use your hours as productively as possible and aid you in setting up a daily writing or sketching goal. Ready to choose for a timed strategy too? Go!
Take a break from everything
Constantly focusing on the tasks you still need to do can seriously demotivate you. It is then no wonder that many experts suggest you take enough breaks when you’re working. You can unwind and let go of your to-do list in several ways. Suggestion number one: go outside with your dog and take in everything you see and hear on your walk.
There are also more abrupt ways to take a break: travelling is one way to do so. By going abroad, you keep your mind stimulated. Take in new sights, tastes, smells, sounds and experiences. Expose yourself to a new way of thinking. Immerse yourself in a culture by engaging with the local food, the people and, of course, the art. Whether that is street art, a local museum or a theatrical performance. Because of your engagement, your mind gains new ideas and you can apply these new ideas to your own ideas – art or writing.
This is an extreme take on the ‘hibernation’ strategy from Neil Gaiman but it just works. His advice:
Put it [your writing] aside for a few days, or longer, do other things, try not to think about it. Then sit down and read it (printouts are best I find, but that’s just me) as if you’ve never seen it before. Start at the beginning. Scribble on the manuscript as you go if you see anything you want to change. And often, when you get to the end you’ll be both enthusiastic about it and know what the next few words are. And you do it all one word at a time.
Say ‘yes’ more than ‘no’
It might be difficult for you to take this advice seriously, but Anthony Burrill swears by his mantra. Burrill, having exposed his work in galleries all over the globe for over 15 years now, admits that saying yes is the key to unleash your creativity. “Sometimes opportunities come along disguised as something else, you need to learn to look beyond the obvious”, he says.
Saying yes to new insights, partnerships, friends and projects might change your world, so it is definetly worth a shot. Keeping a positive attitude and openness for new things is key if you want to change your creative slowdown into an unleash of creativity. Exposure to new ideas and new opportunities might lead you to your next creative project. Yes you can!
Stop worrying and start doing
Continuously thinking about what you must do to become creative again is not going to work. Creativity is not about thinking, or in the words of Ray Bradbury: “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” You will only get out of your creative slowdown if you start doing things. Regain your creative power: push yourself to be creative every day with a timed strategy, make sure to take enough breaks and say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes along.
Have you picked up other tips and tricks from artistic creators at Adobe MAX 2018 which can help you regain your creative power? Make sure to share them with your creative colleagues here!