Creativity Talk: How to Capture Your Next Big Idea

Artwork Archive | May 2, 2017 (Updated September 20, 2022)

“Ideas are like fish. You don’t make the fish, you catch the fish.” - David Lynch

Filmmaker David Lynch knows a thing or two about capturing creative ideas. And, he believes that we as artists are always capable of having great ideas.

Whether these great ideas are out in the world just waiting for us to stumble upon them or bubbling up from deep inside of us, they are all around us. We simply need to understand how to spark them.

So, if you are an artist who always feels pressured to come up with your next amazing project, we’ll go over five key ways to stay open to your own great ideas.

Stress and fear are huge distractions when it comes to fishing for ideas. That’s why the first step to boosting creativity is getting into the right frame of mind. And, the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do about it.


Practice mindfulness to have less worry in your life.

When you practice mindfulness, you are able to focus on the present and what you can do in the world at that very moment. You aren’t dwelling on mistakes of the past or worrying about the hypothetical outcomes of the future. Instead, you become more intentional with the relationships with your family, friends, customers, gallerists, and collectors — and you have more headspace for harnessing creative ideas as they float by.


Get organized so you can stress less and create more.

You can have all the creativity in the world, but if you can’t remember which gallery has what piece or find the contact info for that interested buyer, then you’ll spend more time catching up than creating. Don’t let disorganization weigh on your mind. Get organized, and fill that brain space with creativity instead.


Focus on your health, and you’ll feel better in the studio.

Focusing on your health shouldn’t be an afterthought. While many artists would work day and night for their craft, long hours and stress can take a toll on your health and creativity. It’s important to remember that you are human and your livelihood depends on the well-being of your body! Because, after all, you can’t create your best work unless you are happy and healthy.


Learn how to leave your fears in the dust.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears,” explains motivational speaker Les Brown. There is no room for self-doubt when it comes to the creative process. Clear your mind and confront the fears that may be holding you back from great things. Then, spend more time visualizing your dreams instead of spending all of that mental energy on your fears.


Find a better work-life balance so you can fall in love with your art all over again.

Finding a healthier work-life balance can give you the space you need to appreciate your work and reenergize for a new project. How? Work on building positive habits, setting boundaries, and even taking a break for the other people and passions in your life. Inspiration often comes out of everyday life—make sure you take the time to get out of the studio and enjoy those moments as well.


Where can you find inspiration?

Great ideas also come to us out of the blue—an aha moment inspired by our surroundings or something we happen to see. So, if you’re feeling stuck, you may need to give your creative juices a push.

If you think a change of scenery is in order, check out these artist residencies that can take you all over the world or help you reconnect with nature.

Or, go fishing for those great ideas!

Use an artistic prompt for your next project. Try one of these creative thinking exercises. Read something from our artist book list. Watch an art documentary on Netflix. Get inspired with a TED Talk on creativity. Peruse social media and connect with other artists who inspire you.

It’s often said that positive thinking produces positive results. The more energized and excited you feel to get started, the more receptive you will be to those great ideas just floating at the top of the pond.


You never know what will spark your next creative idea.

“A lot of artists think suffering is necessary, but in reality, any kind of suffering cramps the flow of creativity,” recognizes Lynch.  That’s why he believes “happiness in the doing” is so important—because then ideas are much easier to catch.

Whether you need to think positively or get inspired with a new prompt or place, great ideas are out there if you are open to them.


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