There comes a time when we all fall into a rut. In life. In work. Ups and downs are completely normal. Nevertheless, no one likes to get stuck there. To bounce out of your rut, you might just need to spark your creativity.
As a photographer, I occasionally hit a point in a project where I can’t seem to find the “wow” factor. So, to get back on track, I’ll step away and try one of these handy little tricks. And if one doesn’t work, I’ll try a few more until I find that missing spark. I hope you find them helpful, too!
9 Ways to Spark Creativity
1. Organize + Rearrange Your Space
If you’ve been less than motivated lately, maybe you just need a change of scenery. Try decluttering and rearranging your workspace into a more productive flow. Add some inspirational décor and greenery (plants do wonders to spark my creativity!). Or, you might want to invest in some new office supplies for a fresh, updated look.
2. Let in Natural Light
I’m so much more productive working in natural sunlight than artificial or fluorescent light. If possible, work near a window. When you can’t do that, try to get outside for some fresh air as often as you can. Take a walk, head to the roof, walk your dog through the park – get that Vitamin D!
3. Start a Journal
Some people find that journaling helps them work through their ideas. No one is going to see it, so you can express your stream of consciousness freely. If you don’t like to write, start an audio journal and talk through your day, feelings, ideas, and thoughts. Jotting down whatever’s on your mind may help you sleep better, too!
4. Use a Brainstorming Pad
I find that inspiration hits me at the weirdest times – in the shower, in the car, when I’m out to eat, chatting with a friend… I always think I’ll remember my ideas later when I sit down to work, but that’s often not the case. So, I make sure to note my ideas down as they come throughout the day. A little pad or place to store your voice memos will make sure you never forget your bright ideas!
Don’t get caught doodling in class, but studies show that doodling can enhance your focus, memory, and creativity. If you’re a visual person like me, a sketch break might do the trick. You can doodle, sketch, Zentangle, color, paint – whatever fun art form you prefer. You could even try a watercolor or sketch tutorial online if you need some guidance.
6. Listen to Inspirational Podcasts
Find a podcast or app that either inspires and motivates you or relieves stress and anxiety (or both!). Check out Healthline’s comprehensive list of best motivation apps by category. Or, listen to a Ted Talk or one of these motivational podcasts to get you going.
7. Read a Book – For Fun
I loooove to get lost in a good book. Reading is a great way to transport your mind somewhere fun. Sometimes, I have trouble turning off my thoughts, and picking up a book keeps my mind occupied but relaxed and free of worrisome or negative thoughts.
8. Build Something
So you aren’t a carpenter. That’s ok! Buy a kit and build something with your own two hands. It feels good to accomplish a project yourself, and the kinesthetic and tactile stimulation may help spark some creativity while you’re at it. Make a wooden model; try your hand at pottery; put together a raised garden. You might find a new hobby!
9. Get Away
Still stuck? Maybe you just need to get away for a weekend – or a week! Head to the mountains, the beach, or just a nearby Airbnb with a view and relax to take your mind off of things and return feeling refreshed!
How Do You Get Out of a Creative Rut?
Share your ideas on Instagram and tag me @lindsaykphoto_ . Let’s inspire each other!
Lindsay is a Los Angeles-based food, product, and commercial photographer. She specializes in Still Product & Food Photography, Lifestyle & Portrait Photography, Stop Motion, and Food Styling. Connect with her HERE for product marketing!