Paintings aren’t made by brushes, they’re made by people. For that reason, we blame ourselves if we can’t come up with decent ideas. However, if you’ve hit a creative slump, it may be worth taking a look at your toolset to see if your selection is holding you back.
As the Good Men Project points out, when you’re trying to rekindle your creativity — especially after being away for a while, though it can help any time — you can often find that your creative ideas are limited by what you’re capable of producing. Good ideas are left on the table if you can’t actually create them. If you’re having trouble producing, take a moment to see what tools you have and whether you need anything else:
Pens and pencils? Notebooks? Canvas, paint and brushes? Scissors? A ream of Post-It Notes? A camera? A stick of glue and tube of glitter? Dust off the tools you have. Buy new ones if you abandoned a creative life and threw them away. But, keep it simple. As a writer I only need a pen (preferably an Artline 0.4 black felt tip pen) and a notebook (any cheap thing will do). I don’t need fancy pens or paper; they will not make me write better. I don’t use writing applications on my computer. Work out what you want then whittle it down to what you really need.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect that a new pen will write that novel for you. But if you want to get back into painting, a pencil and notebook aren’t going to get you there. Sometimes, it’s obvious which tools you need, but if you repeatedly find yourself not pursuing your creativity because it’s impractical, the tools may be exactly the muse you need.
Starting the Creative Life Afresh [Good Men Project]