Every season of the year has its positives and negatives, but one thing that’s consistently positive no matter the time of year is creativity. However, if you’re an artist or creative type who works from home, it can be difficult to stay inspired when there are fewer opportunities to meet other people, do new things, and take in new sights during the winter months. For tips on keeping your creative juices flowing through the winter blues, read on!
1) Get Outside At Least Once A Day
For some reason, winter tends to breed cabin fever and make us less productive. Get out of your office or home if you can at least once a day, even if just for a few minutes. Fresh air can be invigorating and will help keep you on track with your projects. Getting outside also helps you build exercise into your daily routine; it's easier to take walks and get in workouts when it's not freezing cold outside.
2) Set Goals
One of the best ways to beat creative boredom is by setting goals. These goals can be just about anything, as long as they’re focused and measurable. Even if you don’t always meet them (and most people don’t), a goal puts something in your future that you can work towards. For example, I want my business to make $5,000 per month by December 31st, 2022 is a great goal for an aspiring graphic designer.
3) Challenge Yourself Creatively
Try making a new type of art, or doing something you’ve never done before. Push yourself artistically and don’t be afraid to create things that look bad in order to get yourself out of your comfort zone and into a new creative mindset. You can find artistic inspiration anywhere! (And if you want more practice on tapping into your creative side, check out our "Designs That Stick" class.)
4) Surround Yourself With Colorful Things
It’s easy to get distracted by colorful things—and that’s a good thing. One study found that people were better at multi-tasking while standing in a bright, colorful room. Surrounding yourself with things like colored lights, colorful pens and pencils, or whatever else makes you feel energetic will help keep your creativity fresh throughout winter. (Try sticking one of our suncatchers on your sunniest window!)
5) Try Something New
One of my favorite ways to keep creative is trying something new. Whether it’s a different instrument, a different genre of music, or even just a new way of making art—do something different! Mixing up your routine keeps you focused and engaged with your craft. The same old thing gets boring fast—and boredom can quickly lead to procrastination. Try switching things up!
6) Surround Yourself With Others Who Support You
Surround yourself with others who share your vision and can serve as a source of inspiration, motivation, and advice. Find a supportive group of people online or in your community that you can share your passions with.
7) Write It Down
Write down 10 ideas for new creative projects, like a screenplay or an album. Write them in a list—it’s that simple. Next time you’re feeling down, open up your notebook and pick an idea from your list. Then, do a quick brain-dump of ideas and actions relating to that project. Pick some dates and timelines, and you're off! Before you know it, you’ll be working on several projects without even trying!
8) Give Yourself A Break
When you work in a creative field, it’s easy to find yourself running at full speed all of the time. It can seem like there’s always something more that needs to be done, and there are lots of things we wish we could do if only we had more time. To combat stress and get our creative juices flowing again, consider taking a break from your normal routine and doing something that doesn’t have anything directly to do with your work.
9) Find Something To Enjoy
It’s easy to fall into a slump when you have nothing fun or enjoyable planned in your schedule. When that happens, it can be tough not only to keep creating, but also to enjoy yourself while doing so. To keep your spirits up and your motivation high, find ways (even small ones) that you can still enjoy being creative—and put them on your calendar.
10) Don't Be Afraid to Fail
The creative process isn’t always going to be easy, and sometimes you will have to push yourself. Don’t be afraid of failure—rather, embrace it as a means for self-discovery. Try something new and see what happens, even if it fails. Making mistakes is part of creating something new—and if you don’t fail once in a while, you probably aren’t trying hard enough.