It’s all very well and good setting yourself up as a professional creative – whether that’s as a painter, ceramicist, photographer, writer, sculptor or any one of the thousands of other creative professions – but what happens when you run up against a creative block?
It’s a well-documented fact that creativity cannot be forced, but rather needs to flow from the creator. This is why creative blocks are so feared by those who rely on their creativity for their livelihood, and why there are so many resources dedicated to helping you circumnavigate them.
If you’re finding it hard to get going on your next creative project, or you’re simply in search of a safety net to use the next time that your muse deserts you, we’ve collated some well-loved and well-reviewed books, courses and websites to help you.
Whether you’re a die-hard analogue enthusiast – flicking through printed texts like Ottolenghi’s Flavourfor recipes and enjoying a game of Bananagrams in the evening – or you’re a hardcore digital devotee – checking the news through Twitter and playing card games at Pokerstarscasino – we’ve got you covered. There’s something available whether you prefer offline or online, and whether you’re a writer or visual artist by trade.
Read on to explore!
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron is an author, teacher, poet, playwright, filmmaker, journalist and an artist herself. She wrote the book titled ‘The Artist’s Way’ specifically to help blocked and spiritually starved artists find their way back to their craft. The information in the book is laid out as a 12 week course, aiding in a self-guided artistic creative recovery focusing on techniques and exercises to heal self-confidence, encourage personal development and rediscover inspiration. It has been lauded and praised by famous names such as Reese Witherspoon, Martin Scorsese and Alicia Keys amongst many others since its initial publication date back in 1992. So, if you’re feeling stuck and would like some guidance on how to get back in touch with your creativity, this may the answer for you.
Ready, Set, Novel!
From the people that brought you NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) comes this interactive workbook on how to write your own novel. If you’re looking for the basic building blocks of novel writing, then this book has everything from space to flesh out character profiles to exercises that will help you find your story’s plot. Although the authors recommend that you work through it methodically, there’s nothing to stop you from following your own working pattern, as long as you’re writing something down. Even if you have absolutely no idea where to start, you just know that there’s a book inside you somewhere, this guide will help you to pinpoint a creative idea and get it out on paper.
A Creative Companion
Artist Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, or SARK as she is better known, is a creative force to be reckoned with, plying her trade as an author, artist, speaker and teacher all over the world. Her book ‘A Creative Companion’ has been in print since 1991 and is so well loved by readers everywhere that an updated ‘New’ version was published in the early 2000s. However much of a sceptic you are, SARK’s enthusiasm for life and creativity is confirmed to be infectious, so this book might be just what you need to get back in touch with your inner child. It is inspirational, supportive, motivational, friendly and often downright silly, but it has certainly worked for a lot of people.
Creative Bloq is an online resource created for both digital and traditional artists, working in career paths such as web design, graphic design, VFX, illustration and more. As well as featuring opinion pieces, up-to-date news on the art world and information on new developments, it also posts helpful guides and advice for struggling artists. Whereas the community that has sprung up around the books mentioned in this article has helped countless people, Creative Bloq offers a more immediate connection, with its finger firmly on the pulse of modern design. The How To section, along with a Jobs directory and info on upcoming Events, is invaluable for artists who are feeling isolated and in need of some support from the wider community.
Artist Strong is an online resource created by one woman – Carrie Brummer. First and foremost, Carrie is an artist herself, but after experiencing imposter syndrome and a lack of self-confidence early on in her career, she decided that she wanted to give something back to fellow creators. Artist Strong offers short courses about building your skill and finding your voice, but it also features a blog, links to relevant podcasts and even some free resources like colouring pages, a guide to drawing, webinars, and creativity prompts. Even if you just want to drop in to this site every now and then, it’s well worth taking a look at what’s on offer.