A guest feature written by artist Emily Louise
Let’s talk about collections.
A collection (or series) is a unified body of artwork with a common theme. It might be a collection of paintings on the same subject matter, color palette, textures or story.
Whatever it is you’re working on, the aim of the game is to work in a purposeful direction and get your potential buyers excited about owning an original piece of art from this collection.
If you have ever worked on a collection of artworks, you will know it’s a labor of love amidst a sprinkling of anxiety, bursts of energy and excitement, with some self-doubt and a little frustration thrown in.
It’s not just about planning the collection and the actual creation of the work. You need to be able to build sales momentum and create a hype around the collection that will turn into sales... and I don’t know about you, but in my experience creative types tend to shy away from self-promotion in fear of coming across as ‘salesy’. The whole prospect of shouting from the roof tops about your work can push us right out of our comfort zones and make us feel all sorts of weird.
This is often followed a little sense of loss and ‘what now?’ as you wonder what to work on next. Let’s be real, even if your latest collection was a fabulous success it can still zap the energy right out of you.
So how can you fuel your creative fire and get that energy blazing again? Here are 7 ways to reignite your creative spark:
1. Create just for the joy of it
For me, it’s hugely important after a collection release to paint ‘just for fun’. I don’t overthink or plan any of the work, and just paint exactly what I feel like painting in that moment. It takes the pressure of trying to ‘come up with something that sells’ and relaxes my mind, freeing up room for my next spark of creativity. If I’m lucky, the idea for my next collection can come from these moments of carefree creative exploration.
2. Don’t force it, gently encourage it
When your living rests on your ability to be creative, it’s important to keep the momentum going. But equally, much creativity is fueled by passion and excitement, not forced ideas running on frustration and lethargy.
Encourage your creativity by seeking out things that inspire you. I find creating a Pinterest board with photos for inspiration can be a useful starting point to get that creative spark back.
3. Listen to things that let your imagination drift
Whether that’s music, a podcast or an audio book. Immerse yourself in another world and let your mind wander. The creative mind works best when it’s free to roam! I recently completed a collection of 22 paintings and found that after the launch I was drawn to listening to Harry Potter audio books – nothing like listening to a world of magical nostalgia to spark new ideas!
4. Keep a pen and paper by your bed
Sometimes new ideas can hit you square in the face just as your trying to drift off to sleep. You don’t want to forget by morning what that idea was – scribble it down so it’s ready for the next day.
5. Take inspiration from other people, but don’t copy
Studying other creatives is an excellent way to learn and get inspired. Sometimes you just need to start somewhere, look to what you know, and then see how you can evolve it into something unique and entirely your own. Social media platforms like Instagram of course come in very handy here in today’s world, but I find there’s something about sitting down with a cup of coffee in the garden and flicking through an art magazine that will always have the edge over social media.
6. Get moving
You’ll read this advice anywhere that’s offering ways to boost creativity, but it’s golden. Get outside and go for a walk. Keep your phone in your pocket on silent so your mind is free of distractions and just walk. You’ll be surprised that your mind very often starts to explore with you!
7. Use your last collection as a stepping stone
Finally, any collection of work starts with a spark and is fueled by passion and the desire to explore a particular theme of interest that speaks to you as the creator. Leverage this where possible. Is there room to further build on and develop the theme of your last collection? If there is, roll with it. It will take you deeper into a theme that you find fascinating and build your skills and signature style.
This blog post was written by Emily Louise, a whimsical, acrylic artist based in South Wales. Emily is on a mission to explore her passion for creativity and magical landscapes using her canvas and brushes. Painting is her way of celebrating her time on earth. In Emily's words, "We are on this lovely, weird little planet for such a fleeting time it would be senseless not to follow our hearts."
You can learn more about Emily on her website:
Or follow along on her Instagram: