I think it’s the driving force of every artist to be different and as someone who grew up sitting in the art classroom–where twenty to thirty people strive to be noticed while completing the same artistic assignment–I’ve always tried to take a non-traditional view of my subjects. Some things I picked up in my endeavors to excel and bypass my fellow students are: don’t go with your first idea. Whatever you think of first will more than likely be what half your friends think of first too, and what many will ultimately do.
Decide what your final product will be and submerge yourself into this world. This can be done while painting, writing, drawing etc. Use music or photos to help stimulate and encourage your imagination. I have some family photos and plants arranged around my desk; things that are pretty because of their color and setting. This leads into my next segment, know your muses.
Knowing what inspires you will help you bypass most forms of procrastination. I am very sensitive to color and really enjoy high color saturation. I’m talking rich pinks, mossy greens, blanched whites and deep space purples. I surround my creative space with colors, I even painted my living room teal. I’m also romantic so lace curtains, flowers, subtle shades of rose and candles help the creative train chug along. It sounds a little contrasting, but hey, aren’t we all a little complex? Not to mention that different projects require different degrees of creative stimulation.
I also find snackage pivotal to good writing, coffee in particular.
So in conclusion, set your creative stage, then get to work. Even if it’s just a little corner, like my office, which is tucked away amidst my husband’s plants and the cat’s food, it’s totally worth it–not to mention you get a defined sense of self.