Every artist has struggled at some point to get started on the next project. Whether it’s because your last project was such a huge success that you don’t want to try to compete (a fantastic problem to have) or because you’re just plain tired, getting up the motivation and the creativity to start working again can be tough. So today I’m sharing my top 5 tips to kickstart creativity and get started on your creative process: I’ve used these tips time and again to get my creative gears turning, and I think it’s safe to say that they are at least partially responsible for everything I’ve created.
- See Some Art.
See a fellow choreographer’s work, listen to music, watch a masterfully-created movie. There’s nothing to stimulate creativity like seeing how other artists are doing it. Whether you’re looking to steal some techniques or concepts (stealing responsibly, of course) or you just want to see what else is out there, experiencing the work of other artist is a fantastic way to get you into an artist’s mindset. Everyone needs a little injection of artistry every now and again – and if you get a little competitive edge out of it, that’s not always a bad thing.
- Take a Walk.
Alone time has done wonderful things for my creativity. I know that alone time can drive some people absolutely crazy, but to me it’s the best way to start problem-solving and putting the creative pieces together. It can be nearly impossible to listen to your creative brain when there are a million things to do staring you in the face. Take a walk and find a quiet place, and see if you can’t start tackling some of those creative problems when you can actually take the time to think.
- Do the Tedious Work First.
This point may seem counterproductive. Usually, we like to do the tedious, monotonous work first because it means you’re stalling on the ACTUAL work. But in this case, it can actually play to your advantage. I always go through the arduous, sometimes grueling and seemingly non-creative process of finding my music and location before I ever start working on the choreography or the story. Not because I’m stalling, but because the long process of finding these elements actually helps to kickstart creativity. Putting so much thought and effort into finding the right piece of music and the right location coaxes me into being invested in the project, and once I have these elements under wraps, there is so much for my creativity to play off of!
- Give Yourself Limitations.
Creating in a vacuum is incredibly difficult. Believe it or not, giving yourself limitations will actually boost your creativity. I’ve found that a lot of creativity is about problem-solving; it’s about figuring out how you can tell the story you want to tell with what you have. If you don’t know what you have (and don’t have) it’s incredibly easy to get frozen by the infinite possibilities. This is another reason that I like to find my music and location first – they give me limitations that allow me to problem-solve and get specific instead of taking a stab in the dark.
- Talk it Out.
Find another artist (or non-artist) and bounce some ideas off of them. The quickest way to kickstart creativity is to have someone else help give them a little nudge – getting another point of view will not only give you a fresh opinion and some new ideas, it’ll give you a new perspective on your own ideas and where to go with them. If you know me, you know that I LOVE collaboration. I like to talk about huge collaborative projects, but collaboration can happen on a small scale, too; just bouncing some ideas off of another person will make your work stronger than keeping them all tied up in your head.
There are an infinite number of things you can do to kickstart creativity; these are just the 5 tips that have helped me the most. I’ve found that the key is to think of creativity as problem-solving. Focus on giving yourself a problem to solve, and then giving yourself the best opportunity to solve it. The most important thing to remember is that every artist feels stuck sometimes, and it’s better to work smart and try to get your creativity flowing again than to ignore it.