Ways to Boost Your Artistic Creativity

Your creativity is like a battery, you can’t keep using it and using it without recharging it. If you do, sooner or later it’ll run out, and you’ll get into a creative rut or stuck in creative block. Here are three ways to boost your creativity. If 20 minutes is all you can spare in a week, remember every little bit helps.

Creativity Boost No.1: Paint Just for the Fun
When last did you simply play with some paint, rather than having a result in mind before you’ve even picked up the brush? When last did you mix some colors to see what they do together, whether as a first-time discovery or to remind yourself? Glazed layer after layer of color to see the results? Tackled a new subject without worrying whether it’ll end up as a “good” painting but simply giving it a go? Exercise your creativity “muscles” in between performances.

Creativity Boost No.2: Admire Favorite Paintings
Take a look again at some favorite paintings, both by other artists and your own. Think about why you like them, what makes them stand out as special or memorable. Browse museum websites to see if the artist has done anything else you find appealing, anything you might adapt for your own art.

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Looking at the paintings you’ve done that please you the most, for whatever reason. Remind yourself of what you are capable of, and allow yourself a moment’s pride. Assess what you particularly admire in each, what you feel you achieved that makes its so special. Remind yourself of the pleasure and joy each brings. Never part with a painting without taking a photo of it, so you can always look at it again!

Do some thumbnail sketches of your favorite paintings in a sketchbook, thinking of variations you might do. Different colors, a change in the light and shadows, altering the format or style, how much you include in the composition. There’s no reason to use an idea only the once (though you don’t simply want to repeat yourself).

Creativity Boost No.3: Flip Through Sketchbooks and/or Art Journals
It doesn’t matter what you use to record painting ideas, what’s important is that you do. Flipping through the pages will remind you of forgotten ideas, underutilized ideas, and those ideas you haven’t yet fully developed.

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