November 22, 2019 2 min read

I think all artists have been in a creative slump at one time or another. We have the urge to create, but nothing seems "right" There are many ways to generate new ideas, stimulate your creativity and inspire fresh ways of seeing and thinking.
Sometimes no matter how hard we look, we can't seem to be inspired without a little "brainwashing" Creative brainwashing involves tricking your brain into being creative. This is achieved by introducing new stimuli to the brain, making it think that it is doing something new when it is actually doing what you wanted it to do in the first place.

Below are ten ideas to trick your brain:

1. Create art in a new place.

Grab your sketchbook and head to a part of town you usually don't visit and plop down on a curb, bench or car hood and start to draw what you see.

2. Try something new.

Do you usually paint in oils? Try pastels. Draw anime? Try drawing flowers.


3. Read.

Try reading something totally different from what you usually do, even if it is just a magazine article on an unusual subject. Keep doing this at least once for several days. The new and different information will get your mind thinking about new subjects, unlocking new avenues for creativity.

4. Go back to your roots.

Think about what you used to draw as a child. Try your hand at it again, using crayons, of course. This exercise moves your mind from the strain of "adult art" and allows it to be more creative in the process. All the while you are still creating art that may be used as preliminary sketches for something grander.

5. Go radical.

Don't just try a different medium, try a virtual medium! If you've never dabbled in computer art of any kind, now is the time to give it a try. You don't need to buy fancy software. GIMP is a renowned freeware program that rivals Photoshop, the industry standard. Go to www.gimp.org for more info.

6. Teach.

We artists are so into learning new techniques that sometimes we forget it is also important to switch gears and teach. This will put your mind on a totally new track for a while. I'm not saying you have to go out and teach to a classroom of students. There are many sites on the internet with forums where artists can share their ideas and takes on techniques.

7. Get gabby.

Creating art is a very lonely, solitary job sometimes. Get out and talk with others about your craft or join an online chat group. Your brain may be crying out for conversation.

8. Rewind.

Instead of trying to make something new, look at something old. Go through your old sketchbooks, portfolio, and finished art pieces.

9. Take a break.

Do something other than obsessing about your creative block. Go for a walk, go eat lunch, get some errands done. The important point is to get your mind on something else to give your subconscious time to work on the problem. You may find an idea just comes to you while you're doing something else.

10. Give yourself a blank slate.

Cleanse your mind by cleansing your mistakes. Erase a botched drawing. Paint over a fouled oil. Rip out and toss a fizzled sketch.

Yvonne Chavez
Yvonne Chavez

Yvonne Chavez is a Tennessee-born, New York-based figurative painter. She has a degree in art history and philosophy.


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