If you’re not having fun whilst creating any more, then something’s gone wrong. Here’s how you can have fun again, and avoid your art becoming a downer.

Whether being creative is your full time job or a personal passion, it should always be fun. A lot of people believe that the best art comes from dark places, like seriously strenuous times or depressive episodes. Of course, everyone works differently, and whilst that might be true of some people, the reverse tends to usually be more true.

A lot of people have a better time being artistic and creating whilst in a happy and positive headspace. This is why having fun with your craft is so important. All too often, activities that are about expression or sharing something beautiful become entrenched in competition and comparison. Plus, thanks to social media giving us easy access into the lives of others, we can quickly feel like we’re not good enough and wrestle with imposter syndrome.

If you feel like it’s been a while since you’ve had fun creating, or if you want to avoid this ever happening to you, we’ve put together some helpful tips.

Take the Pressure Off

Sometimes the fun can stop because we’re putting too much pressure on ourselves to achieve something. Due to standards and expectations we set for ourselves, we can end up getting in our own way. If we believe we have to have reached a goal within a rigid timeline creatively, things are bound to feel less fun and more like a chore.

If this sounds like you, try stepping back from whatever you’re putting pressure on. Whether that’s taking a break for a few days and coming back with a fresh perspective, or actively reminding yourself that only you have set the expectations. Hint: this means that you can unset them!

Quit Comparing

Social media and online sharing is a blessing and a curse. It can help businesses get off the ground, and get creative people networking with one another. However, these heavily curated feeds are often put together under the guise of real life. Others share content hoping it looks to others like their lives are all smooth sailing and 24/7 good times.

This is rarely the case. But, seeing this all the time means it can be easy to start comparing. If you’re a videographer who’s always seeing other, more advanced videographers sharing their work, you could begin to feel defeated.

It’s vital to remember that you’re not seeing the whole story. The circumstances of others will be different to your own, and it helps to keep in mind that it’s the journey not the destination.

Silence Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is the belief that you do not deserve to be in the position you’re in, usually because you feel you lack the skill, knowledge, or experience. Negative thoughts can creep in and get in the way of you having fun with your creative activity.

When you feel this happening, try to look objectively at the situation and be fair to yourself. Write a list of all the things you’ve achieved, and the skills required to manage those achievements. Those are skills you have. It’s also good to recognise that you’re not alone, and that even some of the most successful artists struggle with imposter syndrome now and then.

Clearing your mind with apps like Headspace or Calm can help to quiet negative thoughts, and assist in looking at things practically.

Join Friends

When things aren’t feeling as fun as they once did, call on some friends. If you’ve gotten bogged down trying to finish a project or nail a certain skill, the challenge of it can override the pleasure in the activity. If you hit a wall in terms of progress, frustration can arise and turn the whole endeavour sour.

Getting some friends involved to help you can lighten the mood. Also, friends can offer a different viewpoint, and perhaps suggest a new way of trying something. Alternatively, you can do something entirely different with your friends and have some fun, before turning back to the previous challenge with a renewed sense of positivity and vigour.

Start Afresh

We all take up creative pursuits for different reasons. Sometimes it’s for school, or in order to boost our skills so we can head towards a bigger overall goal. Other times it’s purely for fun. When we start progressing with the activity we started just for fun, we might find ourselves starting to take it more seriously. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For instance, the guitar you picked up for a laugh one day might become your means of making a living in a wedding band. Being able to make a living from your passion is amazing and highly rewarding.

But, it can quickly turn into work and stop being fun. This is when it might be a good time to start afresh and try something completely new that seems like fun. You don’t have to stick with this new hobby or aim to progress at it. The point is to remember why you picked up your creative activity in the first place, and how to have fun with it again. Remembering how to see things through the eyes of a fun-loving newbie will help rekindle creative enjoyment.