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Get Out of an Art Slump

1. Just play. Do not set out to create a masterpiece. Play with your colours and shapes and ideas. Play a lot. If you are creating and enjoying, that is a reward in itself. Inspiration comes from there. Setting out to make a masterpiece is the fastest way that I know of to fail.

2. Doodle. Take a pen and paper and go sit somewhere where you can doodle without an audience. Start with a word drawn on the paper. Fiddle with it. Join bits. Add twiddles. Illustrate it. Relax and let the doodle happen. If you stretch your creative mind every day, inspiration will be plentiful. Colouring in a mandala is one of my favourite versions of this, obviously.

3. Complicate things. Choose two random concepts and find ways that they are similar. How is a banana like an airplane? How is a cat like a harvesting machine? How are you like a light bulb? Now illustrate that in a way that makes you smile.

4. Limit yourself. Tell yourself that for this creation, you can only use one colour or you can only use a toothbrush to paint with or you can only use images of cats to create the image of a dog. There are an endless number of variations on this theme. It makes your brain leap sideways a little to make it happen.

5. Say something. Find a very meaningful statistic and find a way to illustrate it so that people can “get it”. For example, the USA uses about 60 million plastic straws every day – how can you make that number into a picture people might understand and then take action on?