Creativity Can Be Found In Different Places
For many inspiring artist looking to dive into the world of creative arts, there will come a point where you lose sight or can't find motivation to create. Many would call this "lack of creativity" or "not feeling inspired". Anyone in the world of creative arts will know where i'm coming from. You have 8 hours of free time and sit down, open your program of choice then try to work on your last project when suddenly you can't think of anything, or where you last left off, so you do the worst thing and ... start a new project.
If you do music, photography, cinematography you'll know where i'm coming from. You blame the fact that you're not creative or you're not feeling it anymore, when really it just comes down to finding that spark. Which also... is hard. I don't blame you. After a long day at work, and having to put up a social front (not saying it's a bad thing) you just want to be left alone in your little hole and work on your craft. Not only does daily life drain you from your decision making process, but also creativeness. I personally still deal with this, as i'm just like everyone else. I work full time, have a wonderful girlfriend and dual nagging guardians and also a whining cat. (yes i'm a cat person deal with it) When I'm not home, all I can think about is music, and creating new and fresh sounds that will elevate me as an artist. Once I get home and sit down, i'm hit with the all mighty laziness that everyone has. I force myself and open my program of choice (FL studio) and am left with either a blank canvas or a half finished one that I have no clue where to start on. Ether way, looking at this for more then 5 minutes instantly makes me want to just open YouTube and let time fly by and then tell myself "i'll do it later". Only recently, after I started to get more opportunities and collaborations did I really feel the burden of laziness. As sometimes the gigs that I had weren't even in my field of expertise. I never made commercial music or worst of all... pop music. (not all pop is bad, just Taylor Swift) Because of this I've made many tracks that aren't up to my standards and have regretted even taking on the gig just cause most of the time, I didn't have inspiration. (or time because of laziness cause of lack of creativity which by now you can tell is endless loop)
Awhile ago I had to do a project for a brand that gave me a quote to work off of. It was " To go beyond and surpass your own limitations" Telling someone to make a full 4 minute song off a quote that took 3 seconds to say is difficult, but also limiting. I had no clue where to start or even begin. After banging my head against the monitor did i realize my inspiration didn't always have to come from sound, as I looked up to one of my anime posters and saw one of my favorite character and instantly remembered the music and the scene where they had to surpass themselves to save the world (yes it was Dragonball Z and it was Goku) At that moment I instantly re wrote the song I heard in my head piece by piece. Remaking all the smallest details from scratch and after an hour I realized I've made something that sounds epic as hell. Although this was a small example of when inspiration hit me. It goes to show that even sometimes the most obscure or non related thing can actually help you. After that day I've been looking at visuals and re watching movies with themes or sounds that are related or non related to the projects I'm working on if i'm lacking creativity. I'll share with you a few of my personal tips and what i look for when i'm feeling lost or uncreative.
Looking up visuals can help as most of the time there's already a story involved.
Originally I was given the image first as the other people weren't able to use it. When I saw the pixelated texture and open space and tress, I instantly thought of "8bit", "New life", "Adventure". I worked around those concepts and was able to make a entire track with just those concepts, when I was about 75% of the way done, I would reference the image to see if I was missing anything. I looked at the colors and saw red, orange, open sky and thought of happy. (Hopefully the sun and nature makes you happy, if not go out more and get that Vitamin D)
Imagery can help you build a frame to a story. Just one picture can say a lot about what's going on, but also leave you with a lot of questions. "Where did he come from?" "Why isn't there other people around?" "Did he die?" As you can see there can be many open ended questions, but it's up to you to answer those questions with whatever you have. For me it's music.
Music invoke emotions or tell a story. All of these artist are great examples of telling a story with their music. Paired with a music video these songs can get really deep and send you down an emotional roller coaster.
Juice WRLD - Lucid Dreams
Lot's of imagery that's paired really well the music. Theres a lot of inspiration to be pulled from this. Having a very sorrow sounding guitar melody while making sound very spacious can really evoke the "Lucid" and lifted feeling. Kinda like a dream.. (See what I did there)
The Weeknd - Call Out My Name
The Weeknd is a master when it comes to
creating stories and building a theme with his music. His lyrics for "Wicked Games" tell a story of obsessive love. The music really brings home this theme too. The slow drums and phrasing of the guitar, and piano really give you time to think about the lyrics.
There's also film music or scores as the music nerds call it. This kind of music was meant to be paired with film as it's used to compliment the visual.
Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe - In The Beginning
Han Zimmer is known in the film and music industry for making some of the best film scores out there. The song was on the TV series "The Bible" The score takes you on a journey with only a few basic instruments, but It's the note choices that makes this score so impactfull. Learning to make this kind of music can take your skills to a whole different level as you're required to aid the visual rather then the visual aiding you.
Use other music as reference. If you're going for a cinematic or very epic theme, try copying some music from film composers. If you want to create a story of your own, look at some of the lyrics and sound selections of popular music videos and see how they use it.
When talking about theme, I'm talking about overall idea. To me a Theme is a particular setting or ambiance you want to invoke.
For me this track was special. I wanted to really capture a "Dystopian" vibe. A sense of dehumanizing and almost as if artificial intelligence has overtaken the world. (yes very sad) I made the intro very church sounding as if you're praying for hope as you're the last human to survive. As the song progress it gets more and more obvious that no one is coming to save you. The song has a lot of distorted and glitchy sounds that really emphasize the overtaking of computers. The song, name, and visual really bring home the theme that "Alice-84" has taken over the world
If you're struggling to create anything I suggest you look at different sources to help you create your art. Try to look at pictures and create a story in your head, and pair music that seems appropriate to that image. All you do now is remake it in your own way and change thing to your style. Listen to movie soundtracks that have a really deep story or you know that has great ambiance and theme to it and just create something off their ideas. Don't be afraid to experiment and try different things. I didn't say copy the idea and deface it . I'm saying to steal what they did and make it better in your own way.