Creative droughts can be very draining and isolating. Being in the middle of one can make you feel like the loneliest person in the world. This is something everyone has gone through at one point or another in their lives, but it's also something that has the power to tell you otherwise. We hope these tips can remind you of what truly happens when you're going through a phase of creative self-doubt and help you embrace your talent no matter what.
By David Marcu
Zooming out is important when you're going through difficult times of any sort, and creative obstacles are no exception to that. Acknowledging the temporary nature of your creative block will make it less intimidating. Whether you're unsure of how to move on with your career or you simply can't think of a new idea for a small project, looking at your situation from a new perspective will help immensely. Imagine yourself getting over an obstacle and becoming an even better version of yourself. Envision all the valuable lessons you could learn and the rewards you could be showered with. Let these powerful little hopes push you to keep going.
In addition to understanding a creative drought, be open to exploring new things. These things can be as creative or as normal as you like. What helps many artists is taking a step back from their work and familiarizing themselves with other people's hobbies, interests, and lives. For example, studying a subject completely unrelated to photography might provide you with a new outlook on life or a refreshing and inspiring idea. If you still want to be involved in the artistic community, try doing these things:
• read a biography • watch a photography-related documentary/movie • befriend photographers whose style is completely different to yours
By Janko Ferlic
These interactions will open your mind and give you more space to explore new ideas, perspectives, and goals.
If you don't want to feel unproductive, commit to an easy challenge, even one that requires you to take a single photo with a specific theme every month. If you're the kind of artist who loves productivity, this method may help you effectively conquer your fears. As you work on your project, you might discover new ways of photographing, learning, or looking at the world. Regardless of how tiny that project may be, you'll feel better when you complete it.
The most important thing to do during a creative drought is support yourself. If you feel too uninspired to do so, ask a friend for encouragement. Surround yourself with people who cherish your talent and let them help you during this time. Join an online community, such as NZ Photographer, which is filled with friendly, art-loving individuals. Let yourself be supported.
Even though creative obstacles of any kind are unpleasant, they're all conquerable. Acknowledge their temporary nature, be curious about other areas of life, and remember to be there for yourself (while allowing others to support you, too). Don't give up on your marvellous talents. The possibilities are endless, and the best is yet to come.
By Frank Mckenna