As we ease out of a pandemic, for many, 2021 represents a return to normalcy. Some are easing back into previous everyday experiences slowly while others are less guarded. After experiencing a tremendous amount of unexpected change in a relatively short amount of time, we can all feel a little disjointed and out of sorts. All of this can, indeed, impact how we approach our art.
But as we navigate a changing world, there’s also the opportunity to find old and new things that inspire our creativity. Regardless of what you think of the world, politics, social issues, or the pandemic itself, 2021 is a fertile time for creative inspiration. Here are five ways to allow 2021 to be a positive influence on your art.
EMBRACE A NATURE-TECHNOLOGY BALANCE
The art world pivoted through the pandemic. Virtual exhibits and galleries sprung up, and just as many others did, artists and their clients learned to keep things going virtually. Through it all, we got a little tired of Zoom calls and virtualizing everything.
In 2021, as we get back to visiting new and old places, it’s a great time to reconnect with nature, those forests, mountains, or oceans that have helped us tap our creativity in the past. And exploring some new nature areas is probably a good idea, too.
At the same time, the technology we relied on to get through the pandemic has become a tremendous force in our lives. It’s easy to think in either/or terms when it comes to technology and nature. But let’s remember, technology connects us to new places and people, too.
Use the encyclopedic knowledge your phone offers to find new nature experiences. Take it a step further and use technology to share the experiences with others through social channels. Human connections are important for our well-being, and they can keep our perspectives fresh. But when you’re mentally dialed into freshwater flowing in a creek or stream, power down.
SHAKE UP YOUR CREATIVE ROUTINE OR SPACE
Without structure or routine, it’s difficult to complete a creative effort. 2021 is a perfect time to shake up your creative routine. If you’re a morning person, it can be as simple as exploring potential creative times later in the day. Or take a weekend to re-arrange your studio, re-decorate, put a fresh coat of paint or an accent wall in it. Sometimes, small changes or shifts to what’s on a wall or desk can spur new ideas.
You can also venture to an online forum where other artists discuss their creative process or read books on creativity to help you find other avenues to inspiration and productivity.
EMBRACE DIFFERENCES, PUSH YOUR COMFORT ZONE SOCIALLY
It’s no secret that the past year-and-a-half has seen tremendous challenges with regard to political and social issues, and the word “polarizing” has been a lexical mainstay. But in 2021, pushing your social and personal comfort zones may inspire a new artistic journey – if you’re willing to take the risk.
2021 is a great year to explore different cultures and perspectives, even views that are different from your own. Dare we say, even ones you may have completely disagreed with in the past.
You can start by reading and researching. As you gather information, avoid taking a position on what you learn; be a fact-seeker and observer instead. You can even challenge yourself to view something you dislike differently. You can also make a concerted effort to help others, a neighbor, or get involved in a charity effort. You never know who you’ll meet, what they’ll teach you, and how they could inspire you to create.
TAKE MORE PHOTOS AND PRINT THEM
In a video-driven society, there is still nothing better than capturing the moment with a photo. You don’t have to be an illustrator to allow this practice to inspire you. It’s in our nature to see images, experience memories, thoughts, and feelings, and the door to inspiration is suddenly open.
Even better, print out some photos. Our phones produce excellent images. The downside is that the photos get lost in the virtual sea of digital pics and many go overlooked. Create a digital catalog of your year and print some hard copies; use them in collages or as décor in your studio.
The world is a tremendous canvas that’s moving very fast. Capturing laughs, art, action, and everyday life can be a fantastic way to fuel your imagination – this year and beyond.
FIND YOUR OWN COLOR OF THE YEAR
With so much change occurring in the past year-and-a-half, paint manufacturers seemed slightly at odds with choosing their annual colors of the year for home interiors and exteriors. These efforts are often tied to trends in home décor and social sentiments.
Color experts agreed that in 2021 people will seek out comfort in warm and cool hues and soothing tones. But everyone seemed to have very different views about what color types achieved these emotional responses. The result: a more eclectic mix of colors of the year than ever.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of Glidden’s Aqua Fiesta, Sherwin-Williams’ Urbane Bronze, Benjamin Moore’s Chestertown Buff, or any of the other diverse color selections. Try some out and see where your creativity takes you!
FIND THE JOY IN 2021
To many of us, the world may look and feel a little different today than a short time ago. But some of the old rules for spurring our creativity still apply. Pushing our personal boundaries, experiencing new things with an open mind, and keeping our perspective open to new ideas will still inspire our art this year and next.
About the Author: Ray Ko is the Senior Ecommerce Manager at shopPOPdisplays, located in New Jersey, shopPOPdisplays is a leading retail displays manufacturer of point-of-purchase displays. Combining over 20 years of experience in branding, content, search engine marketing, Ray is an expert in formulating and implementing e-commerce strategies to drive site traffic, improve user engagement, and increase revenue.