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Student blog: My top tips for combatting creative block

Year 2 BA (Hons) Photography student Tadas Kirtiklis talks us through his top tips for combatting creative block.

Creative block or barriers of inspiration is often described as an inability to start or continue to process with creative work. This issue can occur very often, and people from across the creative fields can be affected. 

Living the socially non-active lifestyle during the Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult, which lead me to overthink and caused a block for me. These have been a few of the tips I would recommend personally, which helped me to overcome it or at least to find a better flow state beyond.

1. Contextualise your practice

Think outside the box! Identify your other interests and try seeing if you can make work around these interests. Make personal projects outside of uni work – for me it has been helpful and very exciting to follow my hobbies accompanying my creative practice – it can increase your interests and can help you to discover new links in your practice.

2. Expand your knowledge

Contextual knowledge raised from history, contemporary art, or any other different art forms could improve your artistic awareness and idea developments, which could help to prevent creative block.

Read, use various sources, talk and share your experiences, make interviews, watch videos, movies and most importantly – take notes to refer back to.

3. Use your hands

Personally, being a digital photographer, screens are a must and especially nowadays. That is why I am trying to print as much work as I can and work alternatively.

Writing by hand and making physical logbooks out of my notes has become a therapy for me. It takes much longer, but I can enjoy the whole process using sketches and mind-maps before typing everything into digital documents.

4. Share your work

Share your work! Getting more exposure and feedback will boost not only your self-esteem, but also could create many opportunities to engage with other people and have your work discovered.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

Sometimes it feels difficult, but there’s so many hidden treasures to be found by stepping out of your comfort zone! Go out, explore, talk to strangers, engage with other companies, artists, anyone you would like to collaborate with.

I can guarantee that if you feel a connection with their work, there is a huge chance they will see some potential in your art too.

6. Avoid perfectionism

Do not overthink it and move forward! Force yourself to try something new, explore different art forms, let your sub-consciousness do the work for you. Do not try to make it perfect – but when you are done, align all the work and try to find some connections in it.

What are the similarities, differences? Are they technical, conceptual, contextual? Try to find as many connections as possible and identify them. I am sure the results are going to be surprising which will help you to develop your personal style and avoid creative blocks.

View Tadas’ work on Instagram and in the Year 2 BA (Hons) Photography exhibition

Header image by Tadas Kirtiklis
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