Author: Kalina Todorova
How often do you feel as if your inspiration has evaporated and the muses are on vacation? If the answer shocks you, don't worry - this is something completely normal in today’s full of expectations socio-cultural and media environment. Some call this phenomenon “burn out” - the feeling that the flame of your creativity is barely smoldering or is completely gone. In this article I’ll tell you a few tips on how you can overcome this feeling and regain the pleasure of art and the creative process.
Before we start with the tips, it is important to clarify where this feeling of monotony, lack of creativity, and sometimes pure laziness comes from. In the 21st century, people are faced with a number of duties and responsibilities from a very early age. Trends show that today's teenagers suffer from symptoms of anxiety, OCD or other disorders much more often than before - in the so-called pre-Internet era.
The consumer culture of behavior in general also affects our personal sense of place in society, the economy and the world at large. The idea of productivity as a supreme value has become a toxic mechanism of capitalism. This is an extremely dangerous phenomenon for people in the creative industries, whose progress or even success is not always measured in terms of end results or products. Quality (characteristic of creative activity) is increasingly being replaced by quantity (economic goal), as a major sign of success in a field. The motto seems to be "the more I produce / create, the better I will be considered".
To all this we must add the factor COVID-19, the main culprit for a number of changes not only in social and political terms, but also mainly in our daily lives, which inevitably affect the quantity and quality of our work.
Here are 5 simple tricks to cheat inertia / stagnation and regain inspiration:
1. Read a book or article about the art that inspires you.
We start with something easy and accessible - reading. Even if you don't feel in shape to focus on your practice at the time, you can always take a look at the history of an art (whether it's what you do or something different). Understanding the roots of a field will help you unlock and remember the original interest that led you to pursue it. Whether you're buying a new book, going to a library, or rereading things you've already read, you'll always discover something new, an interesting fact that you didn't know or forgot. And why not try a biography of a great artist from the past or present?
2. Follow artists or people you admire on social media.
It can be said that social life has for the most part already become digital. We follow not only friends and celebrities, but also fun pages, businesses, organizations and events. Getting information has never been so easy. This is as much in our favor as it is harmful. We can't control what ads and news outlets broadcast, but we can filter what we follow on social media. If we surround ourselves with more pages that show art, with people whose lives or artistic practices inspire us, this further focuses our energy and attention in the right direction. Then it is far easier to cultivate our social environment in such a way that we feel motivated and inspired.
3. Talk to another artist.
In-depth conversations on topics that interest you and are interesting to you, with someone who understands your situation, are always encouraging. When we are in a critical moment, without inspiration and without motivation for new projects, it is useful to get out of the vicious circle of overthinking and express our fears to others. This helps not only to identify current problems and difficulties, but also to regain an objective perspective on things. Whether you have acquaintances in the field you are interested in or not, you can always visit one of the events at Highstreet and get involved in meaningful dialogues and discussions.
4. Go and see something different.
When we feel as if all our creativity has evaporated, then it's time to immerse ourselves completely in art. And Plovdiv offers us many opportunities. From the many gallery spaces for traditional and contemporary art, through historical museums and sites, all the way to the open-air opera, the city is full of opportunities to see something new and different that will bring you out of the stagnation.
5. Try a new art or craft.
This trick is probably the most challenging so far. Trying something different is often a scary or at least disturbing endeavor. But it is also a sure way to get out of your comfort zone, which will automatically arouse your interest and inspiration. Whether you want to try dancing class, sign up for lessons, attend a one-time pottery course or spend an evening with friends painting and drinking wine, be sure that whatever you choose will have good results!
Remember that Highstreet offers a number of events and workshops that you can follow here.