16 Things to Do When Your Creative Mojo Has Left The Building

(for visual artists):

Art Direction: Yee Wong, Photography: Joshua Scott

  1. Try to get to a museum or art gallery, or even a store with cool displays.
  2. Read some poetry with a lot of imagery. I love Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
  3. Search illustration/watercolor/abstract art/animals/etc. on Pinterest or Tumblr.
  4. Grab a book in an old book store/Goodwill about animals or plants or rocks or whatever and just draw random shit from it in your sketchbook.
  5. Go to an art supply store and get something weird to make art with. Try encaustic wax. Scribble with it and then watercolor on top.
  6. Go to a hardware store and get something even weirder to make art with. Maybe even getting a table saw and doing a huge project will make your creative juices flow. I made this necklace with nylon from Aubuchon’s.
  7. Switch media completely. Macrame? Wood burning?
  8. Press on your closed eyes and draw the shapes you see.
  9. Call someone and doodle on something while you talk to them.
  10. Pick a color and tear out magazine pics with that color, no scissors allowed. Put them all in a pile and take a picture. Or burn them, or glue them onto your stapler.
  11. Draw the alphabet with a fork or q-tip.
  12. Paint with a broom.
  13. Hang up some fabric, sit in the middle of it and draw where the panels touch.
  14. Take random photos with your phone and play with them in some apps. My current favorites (for iPhone) are GalaxyFX, Satur8, and Kaleido Lens.
  15. Accept that there are times when you need to rest, regroup and fill the well. But don’t wait for inspiration to strike. To quote Somerset Maugham: “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
  16. Read Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit . Here’s an excerpt:



Imagine one thousand suns in the
sky at the same time.
Let them shine for one hour.
Then, let them gradually melt
into the sky
Make one tunafish sandwich and eat.