It's completely normal as creatives to go through periods of low inspiration. We're not machines when it comes to producing art and it's important to take time to both rest as well as nurture your creativity without the pressure of sales or sharing everything you make publicly. In today's post, we've tapped into our incredible community of artists to hear their tips and advice for boosting creativity, especially when you're in a rut. Read on for tried & true ways to move past creative block so you can come back to your work feeling refreshed and inspired!

Karen Remsen
Karen Remsen, The Gift

15 Creativity Exercises for Artists

Karen Remsen: It might be a bit controversial, but AI art generators like Midjourney or can help you break out of your box with inspiration for interesting layouts, imagery and color palettes.

Radhika Bhoite: I like to scroll through the photos on my phone, esp. pictures I've taken more than a year ago. I'm always taking photos of anything that catches my eye; textures, color combinations, a good composition, etc. It's like looking at something familiar but new. It also reminds me of specific things, like a conversation I was having with a friend the day I took the photo, or a hike or something I ate. This always helps me get back in and start a new painting about it or gain perspective on something in progress!

Denice Taylor Rinks: Go for a visit to a local gallery or museum.

Jo Roets: I do two things that help me. Especially after a solo show when you feel like your creative tank is empty, one of the activities I enjoy is getting close to creation. Whoever or whatever created this beautiful planet of ours is an artist. So I get my fork and spade and get working in my garden - feeling the soil between my fingers and toes is a grounding experience. Taking time to observe the tiniest details on leaves and giving attention to plants that need it. It puts my mind in a different gear and has a creative recharge effect. To observe beautiful colors, patterns and shapes in nature is really inspiring and its a catalyst for new creative ideas to start flowing again.

The second activity is to paint. As sculpting is my main medium, I find it freeing to do something totally different to get the creative juices flowing. During lockdown I started doing 20cm x 20cm paintings as a treat to myself to play with paint. There is no pressure with these little paintings. It is just an intuitive exercise to be in a creative headspace without self-judgement.

Michelle Schultz: I love going cold water swimming in rivers or oceans. It makes me feel alive, and when I create from that place in my spirit, my paintings can come alive as well.

Claire Coleman: I love going for long walks around my neighborhood. I practice being present and observant while I walk, taking photos of little moments of inspiration that I see along the way—architectural details I’ve never noticed, a beautiful plant, etc. I also love to stop into vintage or antique stores while on these walks. Searching through vintage textiles, ceramics and household goods, and old photographs always leaves me feeling inspired.

Katelynn Noel Knick recommends playing an Abstract Dice Game to boost creativity and let loose. Try it here!

Brandi Hofer: Meditation, music and quieting the mind. Those things always spark the desire to create.

Deepa Gopal: Talking to other creatives is a definite booster! I listen to art podcasts and find inspiration there. I watch movies/series where there’s some essence in the theme, the cinematography, the stylistic elements, the compositions – basically some visually appealing scenarios to stimulate my visual sense.

Rachel McFall Karr: When I'm in a creative lull, especially after completing a project, I clean and sort my studio space. Scraping palettes, organizing brushes, going through drawers and putting my hands on all of those tools or materials I'd forgotten connects me to them again.

Margot Dermody: Being with and feeling the unconditional love of animals.

Mixed media artwork by Charuka Aurora

Volta Voloshin-Smith made a 5-day creativity series on LinkedIn that's even geared towards beginners and non-artists alike.

Charuka Aurora: Making Pinterest boards. I keep making Pinterest boards of things I am currently looking getting obsessed with. And, then when I sit to create. I just have to open my board.

Geraldina Khatchikian: To boost my creativity I love to give a structure to my mornings starting with nourishing self care rituals like Face yoga, which is the first thing I do as soon as I’m awake. It’s a wonderful practice which include a variety of exercise, different self-massage and acupressure point to tone, firm the muscles in your face as well as release tension and relax them from all the facial expressions we do.

Ingrid V. Wells: I make it a daily habit to have solo dance parties to shake off any pessimism surrounding me, putting positivity in its place. Also making my way through Julie Cameron's, "The Artist Way," for the next 12 weeks and incorporating to tools of the morning pages and the individual artists dates. Morning pages is writing 3 pages (stream of consciousness) daily and the artist date is basically spending 2 hours/ week in front of anything visually that is super stimulating to you. These activities are meant to be completed alone - you're not pleasing others with this time but connecting with your soul.

Ingrid V. Wells, You're Here and I'm Here and That's Worth Celebrating, Image by Artbot Photography

We hope that you feel inspired to experiment with these exercises and activities to find the ways that you can boost your creativity. These tips were collated from comments in The Art Queens membership Facebook group. If you would like more information about joining this empowering and supportive community, please visit The Art Queens website to learn more.


Alicia Puig has been a contributing writer for Create! Magazine since 2017. Find more of her work: