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How to stay creative

Writer’s block? No time? No energy? It’s not always easy to stay creative, despite our best intentions, so we’ve put together a list of top tips and resources to help inspire you to get things started…

  1. Set up a daily routine

Set aside a little time to create every day, even if it’ s just for 15 minutes. Finding some time in the day for a hobby you enjoy is a great boost for your wellbeing. You might find once the 15 minutes are up, you want to keep going! Getting into the swing of things can be the hardest part.

  1. Try something new

It can feel frustrating when a hobby we usually enjoy isn’t going anywhere. Switching things up can help get you inspired, like drawing or painting in a new medium, writing in a new genre and or even learning a new instrument. Lack of familiarity can spark a new idea and even kickstart a new skill.

  1. Get inspired by others 

Turning to work we love can be a great source of inspiration. If you’re a writer, read widely. If you want to create television, watch lots! Think about art you admire and why you’re a fan. This a brilliant way of figuring out what you enjoy and how you can emulate this in your work with your own style and perspective.

  1. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Focus on the process of creating something, rather than the end result. The first draft or the beginning stages of a project are rarely perfect. Working on something until it gets to where you want it to be is often the most fun part of a process. Don’t be too hard on yourself and enjoy being creative!

  1. Take part in competitions, workshops and training schemes

Some people need a deadline to give them a push and get creating. There are lots of incredible opportunities out there and plenty of great prizes also on offer. We’ve put together a list of them to keep you inspired and motivated. This list will be regularly updated:

 

Writing

  • Curtis Brown are running a free Weekly Writing Workout, a programme which provides tasks and teaching notes, tips and pointers
  • First Story are sharing creative writing video tutorial series, with videos from Dean Atta, Vicky Foster and Caleb Parkin
  • Penguin are looking for under-represented writers with their competition WriteNow, you only need to submit 1,000 words – Deadline 31/05/20
  • Creative Future are running a writing competition with over £12,000 worth of prizes on offer for underrepresented writers. The theme is tomorrow – Deadline 31/05/20
  • The Phil Fox Award for Playwriting is looking for submissions – Deadline 16/06/20

Film, TV, Theatre and Radio

  • Writers and directors are invited to submit a one-page outline of their film idea to Short Circuit’s competition #SharpShorts – Deadline 15/06/20
  • JustOut Theater would love to hear from writers based in the North for their weekly Radio Plays – Deadline rolling
  • FutureLearn have released a new course from BFI Film Academy – Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen that you can join for free
  • Bitter Pill Theatre are holding The Painkiller Project – a fortnightly playwrighting competition with a £150 prize
  • Check out BBC Writers Room for loads more opportunities
  • Join Sadler’s Wells for free dance performances and workshops online. Including Family Dance Workshops aimed at young children aged 2 to 6 as well as workshops for adults over 60.
  • Enjoy world-class theatre at home for free via National Theatre at home.

Art 

  • Sustainability First are running an art competition inviting original, radical ideas and visions in response to the question ‘How do we build from the current corona crisis towards a more sustainable future?’ with a £1,000 prize
  • Brixton Life Drawing hold weekly life drawing session via Zoom
  • In Grayon’s Art Club, Grayson Perry teaches viewers how to draw, paint and sculpt as well as encouraging entries to exhibit on episodes
  • Isolation Art School have a lockdown inspired art competition with prizes offered by Windsor & Newton (they also post tutorials on their Instagram!)
  • MoMa have free online courses on their website where you can immerse yourself in ideas and see your world in new ways through art
  • Be inspired by great artists and discover how they made their masterpieces via Tate’s ‘How to’ series on YouTube.
  • It’s Nice That believes passionately that creative inspiration is for everyone. Sign up to their newsletters to keep in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.
  • Take an online tour of a museum, whether the Louvre and Musee d’Orsayin Paris, the British Museum in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Guggenheim in New York or the Vatican and its Sistine Chapel in Rome.
  • Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at your fingertips.
  • Cass Art is on a mission. A mission to fill every town with artists! Read their blog to find out about a range of techniques, opportunities & creative fun for all the family.

Music

  • Tune into Boiler Room’s live series under lockdown and isolation. Their broadcasts stream from artists’ homes and private spaces, direct to you.
  • NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts, bring you performances from all over the world. In the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space. Watch these 5 Tiny Desk concerts to calm your mind.
  • COLORS unique aesthetic music platform showcases exceptional talent from around the globe. Discover the most distinctive new artists and original sounds.
  • See artists sharing their work from their homes to yours via Royal Albert Home. Browse their free streaming programme online.
  • Listen to Worldwide FM, an award-winning platform for underground music, culture and stories from all over.

Let us know if you have any more links to the above and get creating…!