What do you do when you’re out of ideas?
In a creative slump, you may be tempted to look to others for inspiration. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but what if you could inspire yourself? You could assure that the ideas you generate are unique to you.
Hopefully you’ve kept a sketchbook (if not, what are you doing, dude? Get on that!). Dig out your old notebooks! With the right frame of mind, old sketchbooks are a great source of new ideas.
“But Claire!” you shout, “The last thing I wanna do is look at my old drawings!” Alas, I cannot hear you all the way over here. Any disdain you might have for your old work is natural, but you’re going to have to look past all that. You’ve grown since then, and that’s great! Something in there may surprise you or make you pause. Sometimes it’s as simple as an eye-catching curve.
See ideas from a fresh point of view. You’ve learned plenty since you last visited these drawings. You can breathe new life into an idea or character you left behind. Maybe now you know how to better handle a pose or texture now.
Not everything or even most things in there will be productive, so don’t expect this to be a cure-all. This is just a way to get those creative juices pumping again. Think of it as past-you giving present-you a little boost. I’d say, for me, maybe 5-10% of each sketchbook is workable. At the very least, this exercise provides an opportunity for self reflection and appreciation for your progress.
Old sketchbooks. Trust me. What are you keeping them for if you’re not going to use them?