Three Very Basic Tips For Getting Creative Again If You’re Out Of Practice

2015 Artwork Getting Creative Again Article sketch

Although this is a short article that is intended to help you get back into being creative if you haven’t made any art or written anything for quite a while, I’m going to have to start by talking about myself for a little while. I should probably also point out that if you read the article I wrote a couple of days ago, then there isn’t a huge amount of new stuff here.

A few days ago, I mentioned that I hardly created any art at all during 2011. In many ways, this is probably why I stick to a daily schedule when it comes to making art (and writing these articles too), since I’m kind of worried about accidentally losing interest and not producing anything for a long time.

Still, if something like this happens to you, then don’t despair. It’s possible to become creative again and I thought that I’d give you a few tips that might come in handy:

1) Done is better than good: I know that I’ve mentioned this old saying before, but it’s something that is worth remembering if you are trying to get creative again.

In short, the most important part of getting back into making art or writing again is to actually make stuff. It doesn’t matter how good it is, the important thing is that you actually make something.

For example, on the day I wrote this article, I wasn’t really feeling very artistic. I’d been feeling uninspired for a while and it seemed particularly bad on that particular day. I’d tried, and failed, to make a couple of paintings and I was ready to give up. But, I told myself “I have to make something today“. So, I did:

"Abstraction Base" By C. A. Brown

“Abstraction Base” By C. A. Brown

It wasn’t anything particularly great, but I’d still actually managed to paint something. So remember, when it comes to getting back into making things again, “done is better than good“.

2) Start Small: When I got back into making art in spring 2012, I set myself the goal of making one small drawing each day. I’m not exaggerating about the “small” part – each drawing was only about a quarter of an A4 page in size. They looked a bit like this:

"Midnight Haunting" By C. A. Brown [26th April 2012]

“Midnight Haunting” By C. A. Brown [26th April 2012]

When I started doing this, it seemed like a gargantuan challenge. But, it also seemed manageable – after all, I only had to fill a fraction of a page every day. And, after a few months, I felt confident enough to start making slightly larger drawings….

So, if you’re getting back into creating things after a long absence, then remember to start small and gradually re-build your confidence.

3) Keep it basic: Generally speaking, doing lots of simpler things on a regular basis is a much better way to re-build your creative confidence than attempting something more elaborate on an occasional basis is. In other words, go easy on yourself.

Yes, your first instinct might be to prove to yourself that you’ve “still got it” by creating a masterpiece. And, if you actually manage to do this, then that’s great (and, more to the point, why are you even reading this article?).

But, if you’ve got less confidence in your abilities, then it can be a good idea to start by making a few simpler sketches or writing a few shorter pieces on a regular basis.

After all, basic things are a lot easier to do well if you’ve already got some experience – so, by doing these simpler things fairly well, you’ll quickly start to re-build your confidence in your own abilities.


Sorry for such a short, repetitive and basic article, but I hope that it was useful 🙂

2 comments on “Three Very Basic Tips For Getting Creative Again If You’re Out Of Practice

  1. Kathryn Molendyk says:

    Thanks for writing this! I did a WordPress search for “writing” tags because I want to get back into writing after a long time away. I loved Point 3 – I totally want to write masterful essays right out of the gate, but you’re right, it’s no place to start. Good advice. 🙂

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