I want to fall in love with being a creative again + 5 ways I'm trying to get myself out of a creative dip

Being a creative is HARD. 

A sentence I think I've written out or said a thousand times but it is. Not only do you have to continuously come up with ideas, take risks, put yourself out there and create some damn good work that hey might get you 40 likes on Instagram- if you're lucky but you also have to be confident and bold in your own creative area. You have to ask yourself what type of creative do I want to be? How is it I want to make my name? Honestly, I don't believe a creative mind ever rests. As the saying goes there is inspiration everywhere. 

But, right now I'm stuck in a creative rut and I think I have been subconsciously for a while. A subject I'm eager to avoid embarrassingly quickly is speaking about university and life since then but honestly, I have been struggling. Well and truly struggling. 

I mentioned in my 'honest report on not having a clue what to do with your life' post that I've been lost for a long time not knowing where I want to go 'career-wise' and I think for the while the worse part of that was admitting that I was and am lost. To be honest, I think I lost sight of my goals a long time ago. I thought for a long time it was okay to tell people I knew what I'm doing, what direction I was headed into a point I almost believed it myself. But now I haven't a clue, only that I still want to be a creative. And on days where I find it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it keeps me going thinking of ideas to boost my portfolio or at least fill that jobless void I'm trying to get through right now. A topic I feel I've already covered or at least one that is still an open chapter. (Honestly, I'm waiting to write the words 'I've got a job!' or 'I've gone freelance' at the beginning of a blog post) 

But for this post I wanted to dive more into how I sort of fell out of love with being creative and how I'm trying to pull myself out of that dip.  


I've always been critical of everything I have ever done creatively (I'm going to be sick of saying that word by the end of this post fun game take a shot every time I say creative/creativity/creating in this post) be it videography work, photography, my blog posts or even the pictures I post on Instagram you best believe that once I get it to the standard I'm remotely happy with, I hate it. I guess the saying goes 'too much of anything can make you sick' (is that a saying or is that just Cheryl Cole lyrics) no I never thought I'd quote one of her songs on my blog either.. moving on. 

It's true. The longer I stare at my work, criticise it, move it around, change it and mess about with it, it begins to be this thing I don't even want to put out there. Some nights I'll even sit and edit a photo I plan to post on Instagram until it becomes so late nobody would be interested anyway and it kind of makes you lose sight of what you were hoping to achieve in the first place. And that is another factor that I think through time has had an effect in crushing my creativity and I'm sure for others too. When did we stop putting things out there because we enjoyed just creating something and posting it, or taking a new direction instead of sticking to the same things because it's what you know gets you the most likes? 

Its something I've been trying to work on for a while, in fact, I nipped that in the bud pretty early on, I've never been too fussed about the likes though low key it does have an effect. It's important to steer away from creating for the sake of it and instead start enjoying creating things you love, isn't that what it's all about? Isn't that the reason we started blogging, or creating pictures, writing or drawing because we love it, we enjoy doing what we do. 

 But still, I don't think that would stop me being able to pick through every individual Instagram picture or video edited and tell you what I hated about it, or what I would change now even pre-posting. I am never happy, but as creatives really are we ever?

There's always something we could strive towards or something to improve and make better next time. I guess that's what university taught me anyway. It's about the process and getting the final result, how would you make it better next time if you could do it again. There's always something.
In some ways, it is a good thing to be critical and push yourself that bit further but it can become incredibly toxic. Whether that be down to comparing yourself to others or wanting to take a different direction or do something new but not really knowing how to. 

I actually reached the point the other day where I hated every last piece of my portfolio, the work I've created or videos filmed to the point where I picked everything apart and thought, I'm not good enough. There are people out there better than me, that could do the work and then some. How could I get a job in the fashion industry when I can't do it. And that was a horrible space to be in, because what do you do when your best isn't enough?

I guess unfortunately that's the headspace I've been in for a while and I think I took for granted being around creatives when I was a university. Working in the studio and being around my classmates made us bounce off one another, although it was exhausting at times and what with the tutors almost feeling like they are crushing my creativity 24/7 actually I was probably at my most creative peak. 
I wish I'd taken more opportunities to branch off and push myself as far as I could because the chance was there for the taking. 

So I guess now some part of me wants to take things back to basics and start falling back in love with creating, working with people who love doing what I do as much as me. I think it's common we all reach a peak where we lack inspiration and need a push to put us on the right track to where we want to go. So with that, I've decided to put some ideas together that help me when I feel creatively stuck and remind me to do those things when I do (like now) and hopefully it'll help you too. 


This is something I've wanted to do for a while, whether its working lunches or just having a good ol' exciting creative chat I want to thrive off other people and allow them to inspire me. Jay's been my photographer for a long while and I adore everything we create together also occasionally my best mate helps out but in the new year, I'd love to work with some new photographers who share my vision for my aesthetic and work with me on that. I also want to start working with shooting myself with new people and just getting a bunch of ideas together and going with it, if it doesn't work out what have I got to lose?


With that, I've recently decided to start back up with my online zine, a project that started at university but I ended because that came to an end. But ever since I was young I've said I wanted to either work in a magazine or be in that industry I've always loved photography and looking at things visually the way they are laid out and the way they tell a story it has somehow remained a love of mine. So, for the time being, I wanted to start my own again this time with a new direction, with a new freedom, new creatives to feature and really just go to town with it. Losing the old name of the zine I had at university and taking charge of it feels like it's my own, my own project separate from what I worked on at university, but still something I love.
It's honestly for me one of the things I'm most excited about at the moment, and for me is a project that is pushing me creatively in every way. I'm excited to see where it takes me. 

Photographer: Tomas Bendik
Sweater: Topshop (similar: Pretty Little Thing)
Bag: Bottle Blonde Studio (Similar: Nasty Gal)
Trousers: F&F (Similar: NA-KD)
Denim Jacket: Bershka 


A couple of months ago, when I started thinking up ideas for a theme for my zine I started going through old magazines (I have a stack at home) and fashion books and taking inspiration from those. I began to tear out pages I loved, putting pieces together on the wall and from it came to an inspiration board- much like an old-fashioned Pinterest board. So that on days when I feel creatively stuck having something visual there really helps me see my vision more clearly or at least the direction I'm headed. Something I used to do on my foundation course at University we were told to display our work on the wall so that kept our mind active and constantly thinking of ideas, something I reluctantly didn't do from the beginning; my space was torn out NME pages of bands. But actually having your own work on display again keeps in mind of what you can achieve or perhaps allow you to stick to a chosen theme or aesthetic. Honestly try it, even sticking up collaborations you've worked on with brands, or award you received keeps you positive and thinking of that end goal. Even if like me you're working on your small goals first before you work out what your main one is. 


Again I'll repeat that it's never fun nor the right thing to do to compare yourself to others but it is okay to inspire off others (inspire not copy) often I save photos again either on Pinterest or Instagram and keep a visual diary I guess of ideas that I like and keep them in mind when creating new work. I mainly aim for editorial so often I save magazine-worthy images that show the direction I want to head in. Even when preparing shoots, I'll try and create a mood board, or an idea I want to go with to try and achieve the final product. 


I can't stress enough not just to you, but also to my own self that when I'm stuck with writer's block or struggling with content I need to get out of my headspace even if it means taking a step outside for 5 minutes. Often I find ideas come to me at the most random of times- more often that not in the shower so I have to scrabble to grab a towel before reaching for my phone. 
Stuck in your head going round and round in circles isn't going to do you any good (yes Paige really)

What's your opinion?

  1. Mate I feel this SO HARD! I just adore your blog, the layout, the way you write, your photos, all of it. It's one of my absolute favourites and I always take the time to read through every word and absorb every single thing. I'm soooo gonna try the real life pinterest board out, as a kid I had tonnes of DIY posters on my walls covered in magazine cut outs, song lyrics, photography I loved, I miss it! Also if you're ever up for shooting together I am so fuckin' down, we'll scout out some siiiick locations and get productive as sheeeit. All the admiration and support and love for ya gal xoxox


@paige rhianne_