7 ways to beat artist’s block

Creativity does wonders for your mental health. So, it’s no wonder that when you wake up in the morning and sit down to work and the creativity isn’t there, the spiral of self-doubt begins. Perhaps the words just aren’t coming… visually something is missing… or maybe you can’t put your finger on exactly what’s wrong.

But don’t worry, it’s normal – it happens to us all. If you’re looking for ways to get out of your creative rut, why not try out some of our different ways to find inspiration and see what works for you?

Change Your Environment

One of the easiest changes to make when you’re feeling uninspired is to change your physical environment. For many of us, lockdown might restrict our options. However, changing your environment can be as easy as moving into a different room, setting up your desk in front of a window – or even putting on some music and lighting a candle. Just don’t leave it unattended 😉

Try Something New

If you find that you’re hitting a creative roadblock, now might be the time to pursue a new hobby. From experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen to writing a short story – or trying out watercolours instead of acrylics. Have a go at something you wouldn’t consider yourself to be a ‘pro’ at. By putting yourself out there you’ll not only give yourself a break from your usual practice, but you’ll probably find that you unleash more creativity in another area.

Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts became an ally for many last year, which saw 2020 crowned as the ‘golden age of podcasts’. You can find one for almost anything these days so it can be hard to know where to start – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! A few of our favourite creative and art-based podcasts: include Artcurious, 99% Invisible, Raw Material, and Talk Art

Collaborate

How many times has a problem been solved simply by talking it through? The same goes for creative blocks. Sometimes the energy that other people bring to a conversation can have a really positive impact. Asking your social media followers for thoughts, feedback or even suggestions is a great way to kick start a conversation!

Start a Moodboard

Start collecting as many ideas as you possibly can! Perhaps it’ll take shape in a Pinterest board, or magazine cut outs – but before you know it, you’ll be flooded with inspiration and ideas again.

Pen and Paper at the Ready

Keeping an notebook close to jot down ideas is a great way to be creative throughout your daily life. You can fill it with quotes, doodles, or even a paragraph about what you did that day. The important thing to remember is to not overthink it. Let your mind wander… and play.

Don’t Force It

Whilst there are lots of things you can try, forcing yourself to be creative shouldn’t be one of them. The last thing you want is to try harder and for the ideas to become flatter and flatter. Sometimes, the best thing to do is step away for a bit. Everyone needs a break now and again. So, take the time to relax, enjoy yourself and come back later. Time away might be exactly what you need in order to be restored and inspired.

Image credit: Happy Fluff Comics

Bright & Beautiful

Colours are powerful. They’re not just pretty or expressive – they make us feel, think, and react.

Did you think CEOs just shut their eyes and throw a dart at a rainbow to pick their brand colours? Maybe just went for their favourite one?

When it comes to organisations, artwork, horticulture… almost anything… colours aren’t random. There’s a science. Here’s a little insight into colour – and how they can influence us:

Red
This is a passionate, strong, and emotive colour. It can signify all sorts of strong and exciting sensations, including danger, love and fire.

Blue
A calming colour that suggests peace, loyalty and tranquility – although it’s also often associated with sadness and melancholy. Blue is a collected colour, and a great choice for businesses as it can increase productivity and organisation.

Yellow
Sunny and friendly, yellow is also a neutral colour and often chosen by to-be parents that don’t know the sex of their baby. Yellow is inviting and friendly, however it can also be associated with warnings and hazards.

Purple
Occasionally associated with royalty and wealth, purple also provokes feelings of wisdom, magic and spirituality.

Green
Like the leaves on a tree, green is often linked to nature, freshness and good health. Alternatively, green is also connected to positivity and confirmation – such as ‘green means go’.

Pink
Regardless of its shade, pink regularly echoes sweetness, sophistication and care. Similar to the passionate qualities of red – but with a more empathetic tone.

Black
Like the potency of the colour itself, black signifies strength, power and formality. Choosing black as a key brand colour also depicts formality and security.

White
Considered as a simple, honest and innocent shade, white can also provoke feelings of openness and integrity.

Why not send one of these colourful Moments to a friend and see how it makes them feel? Download the Momentful app on iOS and Android today!

Winners Announced!

5th February 2021

After three months of extended deliberation, and a great deal of nail biting, our panel of judges have finally decided on a winner.

For those who have not been following the drama as it unfolded… here’s a quick re-cap:

Our ‘This is the Moment…’ film competition was launched in the middle of last year’s pandemic. It called for amateur and first-time filmmakers to help people combat the lockdown blues and submit homemade movies about what it was like being isolated from those who matter to us the most.

A few months later, after meticulously reviewing the entries from Momentful users and the public at large, the judges arrived with the following results… (cue drum roll):

WINNER: JOSHUA BLACK | CHANGE THE CIRCUMSTANCES | UK

A very familiar tale of lockdown blues where COVID-19 seems set to ruin a special birthday. However, the ingenuity in an emergency can never be underestimated as a friend comes to the rescue with an unexpected surprise to save the day.

THE JUDGES SAID:
Change the Circumstances by Joshua Black stood out to us as a winner. The way the film genuinely uplifted us all and left us with a warm glow clearly demonstrated it was a film that had true heart and had met the brief.”


HIGHLY COMMENDED: CHEN SING YAP | SHIFT | CANADA

A heart-breaking tale about the lengths a mother will go to, to protect her ill son from the dangers of COVID-19. What seems like a desperate story of sacrifice and loneliness, delivers a tear-jerking finale. Watch with tissues at the ready!

THE JUDGES SAID:
“We wish every idiot not wearing a mask right now could be forced to watch this film. It’s original, thought-provoking, impactful and so poignant – some of us cried… a worthy runner-up.”


HIGHLY COMMENDED: NOMASONTO NHLAPO | THE BREADWINNER | SOUTH AFRICA

As the pandemic grips the lives of billions of people worldwide, one woman feels the pressure of impending joblessness and homelessness. Is fate destined to deal a final cruel blow? Or is hope and salvation to be found at the very last minute?

THE JUDGES SAID:
“A great storyline that kept you captivated all the way. And some pretty nifty dance moves thrown in at the crescendo. Hard not to enjoy!”


COMMENDED: JULIAN KAY | THE CORONACHINS | UK

A familiar feeling of dread we can all relate to as an important anniversary looks like might have been forgotten. But luckily there’s a get-out-of-jail-free card that can save the day. Or can it….?

THE JUDGES SAID:
“This was definitely the most original and the most silly entry of them all. And given the circumstances we’re in – it was exactly what we all needed. Well done!”


COMMENDED: RICHARD BUCK | OCCUPANDI TEMPORIS | UK

A very contemporary storyline of man and 21st-century technology. Do we control it, or is controlling us? Do we even really know for sure…?

THE JUDGES SAID:
“As a film it was quite sweet and quite neat. Charming and flirtatious but without crossing the line.”


The winning film, Change the Circumstances by Joshua Black, and two highly commended, were picked out from hundreds of entries by an illustrious panel of expert judges, including:

John Wilson: British film editor John Wilson’s works include Billy Elliot (2000), The History Boys (2006) The Book Thief (2013), London Road (2014) and Me Before You (2016).

James Macfarlane: James is a leading lecturer at London University in Advanced Digital Publishing Technology and Platforms. He is also a resident judge at the SetSquared Young Business of the Year, as well as University Young Entrepreneur.

Tracy Edwards MBE: Explorer and winner of the 1998 Jules Verne Trophy for the ‘fastest circumnavigation around the world with no stopping and no outside assistance’, Tracy and her all-female crew also broke seven world records. She was the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.

Jo Hemmings: Jo Hemmings is a Behavioural Psychologist and a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS). She specialises in media analysis as well as a being a relationship coach and TV and radio personality.

Suzy Edward, CEO, explains how blown away all the team at Momentful were with the response to the competition: “I want to put out BIG HUGS to everyone who submitted an entry to the competition. There was an incredible outpouring of emotion and talent in each and every film. Now that the films can be made public for all to see, I’m thrilled that everyone will get to enjoy them as much as we have.”

John Wilson, one of the UK’s leading film editors (Billy Elliot, The History Boys, The Book Thief) and our Chair of Judges says: “It really was a pleasure to be part of judging the ‘This is the Moment…’ film competition. The panel felt that the overall quality of the finalists’ submissions was both impressive and highly entertaining. It’s a shame there had to be a winner.”

Jo Hemmings is a Behavioral Psychologist and member of the British Psychological Society, specialising in media analysis as well as a being a TV and radio personality and dating expert. She says: “This last year has affected every single one of us. Anxiety, stress, uncertainty and in many cases, grief have touched us all. As humans, we all use different mechanisms to deal with these unfamiliar emotions, particularly after coping for such a long-term haul. These films present a great example of unique human engagement through the medium of seeing others’ outlooks – and, at the same time, bring a welcome level of support, entertainment and comfort in these isolating times.”

Global Community Engagement

Tomorrow, the 28th January, marks a pretty special day. It’s all about community… coming together… and being a team… and we need all that right now.

So, what’s the point of Global Community Engagement Day?

Sure, businesses, organisations, and everyday people around the world should always be engaging actively with their communities. But this day reminds us why. It reminds us of how we can learn more about the world around us by interacting with different cultures, ages, genders, races, and religions.

Now, more than ever, community is so important. We might not be able to physically meet up and help each other in the ways we’d like – but we can be there when we can’t be there in many others.

One of those ways is through Momentful. Send a Moment today and engage. Spread the word. Be there.

Around the World in 7 Artists

We’re so proud that our fabulous artists come from all over the world – so we’ve decided to talk about them here, and the countries they’re from!

James Booker
Queensland, Australia

James offers an abundance of colourful, over-the-top and often out-there collages. Branching out from writing and illustration in 2010, James launched Random Galaxy, adopting his techniques to begin developing a photo-manipulation collage style of art.

Rebecca Elfast
Gothenburg, Sweden

Rebecca is an illustrator and surface pattern designer. Producing artwork that is fun and colourful, she works with a mix of handmade and digital techniques. Ink and watercolour are her favourite media and the layered, transparent principles of those techniques are often visible in her digital work as well.

Josephine Wall
Dorset, United Kingdom

Josephine specialises in mystical, surreal-like, fantasy paintings. Inspired by greats such as Magritte and the pre-Raphaelites, she often strives to impart a message in her scenes, and inspire her audience to take a personal journey into her magical world.

Steve Spazuk
Quebec, Canada

In a technique he refers to as “fumage,” Steven Spazuk has reinvented traditional artistic approaches, by painting with smoke. Since 2001, Spazuk has refined this skill – making the relationships between humans and the natural world his primary focus.

Schim Schimmel
Arizona, USA

For over 20 years, Schim has been painting in a style uniquely his own, expressing on canvas his love and awe for our incredible planet, its animals, and the universe that brought them into being. Through his work, Schim hopes to inspire others to be more conscious human beings living within a vulnerable ecosystem.

Happy Fluff Comics
Chennai, India

Akshara Ashok is the creator behind the hilariously popular Happy Fluff Comics. The much-loved series documents the life of Fluff, the girl next door unabashedly highlighting situations and problems we come across every day – but seldom discuss in public.

Vincent Hie
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Clarity, articulation and high attention to detail are key elements in Vincent’s work. Loving the beauty of shapes, forms, colours and sounds, Vincent made the switch from tradition tools to digital software back in the early 2000s.

If you want to check out the works of these, or any other of our artists, just hit ‘search’ and ‘browse our artists’ in app. Remember! Momentful is free to download on both iOS and Android.

Have Pride

In case anyone is wondering where all this talk about Pride has come from, here’s a brief summary:

Pride is a commemoration of the Stonewall riots of the late 1960s. These events were the spark that galvanised the LGBTQ+ (then gay) community to promote activism for equal rights. Pride became a celebration of the bravery of those who were otherwise persecuted by the law and social pressure (and sadly, many still are to this day). The fight was for freedom of sexual and/or gender identification. Right, now that we’ve dealt with housekeeping – let’s get down to business. What does Pride mean today?

In a word, Pride is f**** awesome! It celebrates individuality and uniqueness on an immense scale. People all over the world, stand in the face of persecution and tyranny and express their unbridled joy at being oneself: wholly, freely and without reserve or judgement. It’s wonderful, and….the parade has been cancelled this year due to COVID 🙂

However… this doesn’t mean that “Pride” itself has been cancelled, so don’t fold up the bunting or put away your NHS rainbows quite yet! There’s a whole bunch of ways we can celebrate Pride Month this June from the comfort of own homes. Many of the world’s favourite artists, musicians and other content creators are LGBTQ+. So, there is an abundance of creative forms to draw from there to get the celebration started. Crack open the bubbly, get a feather boa on and have your own drag-house party!

This is a month when we can all celebrate our diversity and individuality and feel acceptance and love. One day, we might not need a set-piece month for us to feel our best unique selves, free of persecution. Until then – let’s party like it’s 1969!

Send one of our Pride Moments today!

No Limits

Many of you (of course!) have been eagerly anticipating World Bicycle Day!

There are 2 billion bicycles in the world; that averages out to about one per family for the whole planet! This contrasts spectacularly with only 92 million cars. So, clearly bicycles are the world’s favourite mode of transport.

Here in the UK there are around 3m new bikes bought each year (that compares to 2.5 million new cars). Since lockdown, bicycle sales have boomed by 500%. And that can only be a good thing: it’s a cleaner, healthier, more fun way to commute or enjoy your leisure time. It you haven’t been out peddling by now, get your rusty bike out of the shed and make it road-ready… or maybe buy yourself a new one? It’s a good excuse!

Send one of these invitations your cycle chums and do yourself and the planet some good.

Image courtesy of Xavi Cabrera

When this is all over…

When this is all over, I’ll visit my Mum.
We’ll sit in her garden drinking Pimm’s in the sun.

When this is all over, I’ll throw a huge BBQ.
I’ll hug all my friends and really stick to them like glue.

When this is all over, I’ll jump in my car.
I’ll drive just for the sake of it, to spaces wide and far.

When this is all over, I’ll visit the sea.
I’ll eat chips by the shore, dipped in mushy peas.

When this is all over, I’ll think about what we’ve lost.
Livelihoods and loved ones were too high a cost.

When this is all over, I’ll be still for a while.
I’ll think about the future and then raise a brave smile.

I’ll find the right Moments, to write and to send
For when this is all over…. we will all be best friends

How do I say…

… I need help.

Sometimes life throws lemons at us; but perhaps making lemonade isn’t exactly your thing. So, what do we do about it? Did we think to ask one of our best friends or family to help? Or did we just awkwardly say nothing and let it pass?

For some reason, many of us feel we have to single-handedly tackle the Krackens in our lives without asking for help. Whether it’s a little leg-up with the tiny things, or a catapult for the huge stuff: being honest about when we need help seems really bloomin’ hard. And modern-day pressure doesn’t help either. We are, after all, expected to have a career, an instagrammable social life, an enviable family life, a few cool hobbies and now; we are also expected to know the latest Tik-Tok dance for some stupid song about Carole-sodding-Baskin (who??)!

Whatever the reasons for our self-imposed struggle to say ‘yes, please – I need help’; it is not cool and it’s definitely not good for us. All it does is set us up for more struggle, more feelings of inadequacy and thus, the circle continues.

If you find yourself in this kind of swamp or know someone who is, remember that there are many ways to reach out and say ‘I need help’ or ‘do you need a hand?’ Whether it’s a visual cue for that emotion or just a conversation starter: there are lots of Moments that can raise a hand to let someone know that help is needed or is at hand.

All we have to do is take that one small step – and that’s the hardest bit done. So why not start now? Now is always better than tomorrow.

Image courtesy of Noah Buscher

Pet to Pet

The Beatles once sang: “I get by with a little help from my friends…” and that has never been more true than today. But what about our hairy little chums at home? How are they coping with lockdown without their furry friends to help them get by?

Now, if your dog or cat had opposable thumbs and access to your mobile phone what missives might they be sending their wee chums? We’ve put our creative team to good use and asked them to imagine what Moments our pets might want to send to their chums if they could. And they came up with some butt-sniffing, post scratching and other pet-to-pet-related themes to test the idea out. See what delightful messages they came up with:

“Long time no pee on your lamp post. Ah… missing good times! xx”
“OK, I love you, but it’s my turf. Don’t forget……… xx”
“What’s this ‘lockdown’ thing?? Fancy running away together… Dreaming of it xx”
“My master bought me a new bed. Wish you could snuggle-up in it with me. Luv ya! xx”

So there you have it, if your pet could use your Be Momentful app, they’d be running riot through your credits. And providing a lesson to us all: keep the butt-sniffing up! Try these Moments to keep in touch with your friends AND THEIR PETS!