Finding Creative Inspiration In The Mundane | The Salvation Army

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Finding Creative Inspiration In The Mundane

Posted June 27, 2018

The great thing about inspi­ra­tion is that it’s every­where. You might get inspired walk­ing down the street and see­ing a neat piece of graf­fiti, or by an amaz­ing busker or even just look­ing up and tak­ing in the breath­less expanse of a clear blue sky. Some peo­ple have a nat­ural abil­ity for tap­ping into their cre­ative poten­tial and har­ness­ing it to make amaz­ing things.

For the rest of us mere mor­tals, inspi­ra­tion comes a bit harder. That’s not to say it still isn’t there to be found, but some­times we’re sur­rounded by such unin­spir­ing, drab sur­round­ings that we hardly feel even moti­vated to try. Find­ing cre­ative inspi­ra­tion in the mun­dane is some­thing that all cre­ative peo­ple will need to attempt at some point when the dreaded writer’s block or men­tal brick wall hits. Here are a few tips for pre­vent­ing, over­com­ing and own­ing those cre­ative roadblocks.

1. Remem­ber what dri­ves you and go back to it.

Quite often on our cre­ative jour­neys we sim­ply plough on ahead to the next stop, rather than tak­ing stock of where we’ve been and what we’ve accom­plished. When you find that you’re lack­ing in inspi­ra­tion, one of the best things to do is to inspire your­self with your own work. It could be a piece of art with sig­nif­i­cant mean­ing, or a song you wrote that helped you through a bad breakup. Remem­ber­ing and tak­ing pride in what we’ve cre­ated is a great way to pos­i­tively rein­force our­selves, take stock of how far we’ve come in our craft, and it might even spur new ideas.

It’s also worth not­ing that you should always try and keep any sig­nif­i­cant or inspir­ing work that you’ve cre­ated some­where safe. There are tons of online tools for dig­i­tal artists, song­writ­ers and blog­gers to pub­lish and archive their work. Make sure that any of your hard copy work is in a safe place too, or at least that you’ve taken some photographs!

2. Chan­nel frus­tra­tion and explore the unconventional.

This is eas­ier said than done con­sid­er­ing we’re look­ing at con­fronting a lack of inspi­ra­tion. How­ever, there is mas­sive value in explor­ing the uncon­ven­tional or dif­fer­ent. Musi­cians might find that play­ing their instru­ment in uncon­ven­tional ways (like a drum­mer hit­ting the bass drum with a stick) can jolt ideas into motion.

A famous exam­ple of this is the song “Creep” by Radio­head. Gui­tarist Jonny Green­wood, sick of how the song was sound­ing in the stu­dio, pur­pose­fully tried to sab­o­tage his gui­tar part by adding the loud dis­torted chugs before the cho­rus. This of course has gone on to be one of the song’s most endear­ing fea­tures. Let frus­tra­tion spur you into try­ing things that would have pre­vi­ously been out of your com­fort zone. Explore dif­fer­ent gen­res, check out abstract art, see dif­fer­ent shows.

3. Explore the bible or other his­tor­i­cal texts.

The bible is full of amaz­ing poetry, sto­ries, poetic illus­tra­tions and metaphors. There’s so much we can draw from the bible, and in doing so we are help­ing to artic­u­late the great­est story ever told. Read­ing and absorb­ing God’s word is some­thing we should do reg­u­larly, so mak­ing it a part of our art and cre­ativ­ity is yet another way we can imprint HIs word on our hearts. Analyse and reflect on David’s Psalms, draw from the rich the­o­log­i­cal tapes­tries that Paul paints in his let­ters, read deeply into the rad­i­cal and rev­o­lu­tion­ary Jesus. The beauty of using the bible as inspi­ra­tion is that it cov­ers every human theme and genre con­veyable — and it’s roy­alty free. You can even apply this to other his­tor­i­cal texts, and being widely read will always aid your cre­ativ­ity. Look for oppor­tu­ni­ties to draw from the thoughts, ideas and cre­ativ­ity of others.

When you’re next sur­rounded by a mun­dane cre­ative envi­ron­ment, try the above tips to see where your cre­ativ­ity might lead you. These are only three of the count­less ways we can be inspired or take con­trol of the down peri­ods of cre­ativ­ity in our cre­ative jour­neys. The other beau­ti­ful thing about inspi­ra­tion is that it can strike out of no where. Take heart — writer’s block and the brick wall will always end sometime.