Do you ever wonder how to keep the inspiration going when you feel just a little creatively dry? A lot of people struggle with that, and I am going to dive into this subject and give you some real help on how to keep the inspiration flowing.
You know, we have all been in this situation, right? You get into the studio, and creatively you just hit a wall. Inside you are like, "I've got nothing! No inspiration! Nothing is flowing here! What's going on?" As artists, isn't being creative what we are supposed to do anywhere and at any time? Yet somehow, we all have found ourselves in this place, but the good news is none of us have to stay there.
Fill Your Well
As artists, we all create from the inspiration that we're continually collecting, cultivating, and curating in what I like to call our Creative Well. Think of your "Well" as an internal reservoir that frequently needs to be filled so that it is always ready to release a fresh flow of inspiration when you need it.
I was first introduced to the concept of an 'inner well' of creativity in Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way. As I have explored this concept more deeply over the years, the Holy Spirit began to bring me more revelation about how inspiration works, how it's discovered, held and nurtured within is.
This well holds the inspiration we collect, cultivate, and curate throughout our lives. Think of your "well" as an internal reservoir that needs to be refilled frequently so it is always ready to release a fresh flow of inspiration when you need it. Central to my understanding is that the Holy Spirit moves over all the inspiration we so into our heart and mind, allowing us to co-labor with Him in the creative process. As we are continually filled with His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) both personally and artistically, we create from a place of overflow.
A common mistake is to assume that your creative well is just going to fill itself. In reality, you have got to be as intentional about cultivating inspiration as you do about creating the expression of that inspiration. Find that thing that fills you up inspirationally and focus on it. Make it a daily priority in your life. Be intentional about this so that you can release that fresh flow of creativity when you do get in the studio. As I have explored it more over the years, the Holy Spirit began to bring me more revelation about how inspiration works - how it's discovered, held and nurtured within us. Central to my understanding is that the Holy Spirit moves over all the inspiration we sow into our heart and mind, allowing us to co-labor with Him in the creative process.
Focus On The Journey
The second thing I would say is that you have got to prioritize your own personal creative journey. True artistic growth requires so much more than merely mastering the tools and techniques of your chosen genre. Maturing as a creative involves integrating everything you learn along your journey into your unique creative expression, voice, and style.
It's the nuance of how God speaks to you, how you fill your Creative Well, and how you interpret those things through your life and art that grow you as an artist. The secret to keeping your creativity fresh is continually looking for and focusing upon those divine teaching opportunities God puts in your path. Intentionally making this a priority in your journey will keep your art and your creative outlook fresh.
Don't Forget The Fun
The last thing I would say is this: You have got to get back to the joy of just creating! I still love nothing better than to be out in my garden, pruning back plants, picking up dead leaves, and using those scraps to sit down and just start weaving. I'm not focused on any tools or techniques as I'm sitting there on my porch. I'm just having fun with the materials.
The funny thing is that after the countless pieces I've created and sold, this simple act of weaving yard clippings is still a huge rush to me. It's creative joy unleashed and unrestrained. It's a simple process that keeps me grounded creatively.
If you're not regularly experiencing this, then ask the Lord to take you back to that place where creativity was something you embraced with child-like joy. Let those times of prayerful and playful artistic meditation revive your sense of awe and wonder in the creative process.
I hope this has been a big encouragement to you. If this article has been a blessing to you, take a moment to share it with a friend, share it on social media, and comment below!
Thanks for reading.
Matt Tommey is an artist, author and mentor who is passionate about empowering artists to thrive spiritually, artistically and in business.