33 Movies & TV Shows To Watch When You're In A Creative Slump
There's nothing worse than the feeling you get when you know you have something to express but are not able to do it — be it through drawing, writing, painting, knitting, crafting, or any other creative endeavor. When you're in a creative slump, it can feel like it will never end. And, while half the fun of being artistic is that you never know when the inspiration will strike, the wait can sometimes be unbearable. If you're getting tired of waiting around for your muse to come, then maybe watching a movie or a good TV show can help. Even if it won't directly inspire you to create, watching a movie or an episode of a TV show will at least make the time pass.
Most (good) movies and shows about the creative process are about writers — don't ask me why — but the same things that help these characters move past their writer's block could apply to any other kinds of creativity. Movies can inspire in many different ways, so give a few of the 33 movies and shows below a chance before you start going to desperate measures to get your creative mojo back, OK? Trust me.
1. Ruby Sparks
This movie is all about a person's capacity to create. If it doesn't inspire you to get over your creative slump, then I don't know what will.
2. Sherlock Jr.
Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. is full of visual gags and storytelling tricks that will make you want to experiment with your creativity and try something new. It's also hilarious, entertaining and beautiful.
3. Stand By Me
Is there any ill Stand By Me can't cure? (Hint: the answer is no.)
Biopics tend not to be too inspirational, mostly because half of them are super depressing, but there's something about the joy of Selena that just makes you want to create.
5. Flight Of The Conchords
Flight of the Conchords will remind you that anything can be an inspiration to create — literally, anything.
6. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a great movie to watch when you're in a slump because it's fun, creative, and will remind you that there's more than one way to tell a story and more than one way to use a medium.
7. Singin' In The Rain
Singin' in the Rain is a classic for a reason. You don't even need to watch the entire movie to feel inspired, just pick a musical number, sit down and feel the ideas flow through you.
8. Inside Out
When you're in a creative slump, it's normal to wish that you could be a kid again, and get back that big imagination you once had. Inside Out will definitely help nudge you in that direction, and it might make you shed a few creative tears too.
9. Moonrise Kingdom
Director Wes Anderson captures childhood love in this beautiful film, which pulls double inspiration duty. Moonrise Kingdom will remind you of that childhood capacity to dream, while also presenting you with a film that is so completely specific to the artist (Anderson). Seeing an artist so in control of his product is pretty damn inspiring, if you ask me.
10. Doctor Who
Doctor Who is unlike anything else on TV, and each episode brings you to an entirely new story (and time, and maybe even planet), so the possibilities for creativity are boundless.
11. That Thing You Do!
A little reminder that you don't need to be pushing yourself creatively if all you want is money and fame. Do it because you love it.
12. Pan's Labyrinth
Pan's Labyrinth might be scary (seriously, I'm still having nightmares about it), but it's also beautifully creative and guaranteed to inspire.
13. The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride is another great one because it can remind you that you can put a twist on an old formula. Sometimes you don't have to create something totally new for it to be original.
14. Toy Story
Toy Story is basically creativity 101.
15. Jane The Virgin
Marathon Jane the Virgin to embrace your inner drama queen (and relate to Jane's struggles as an aspiring author).
OK, investigative journalism might not traditionally be considered "creative," but the high stakes in Spotlight will inspire you to push through and keep working.
The movie that inspired filmmakers and kids everywhere. If it's good enough for the world, I think it's good enough for you too.
Inception is a movie about the creation of ideas. If it doesn't inspire you creatively, it will at least get you thinking.
The first 10 minutes are legendary, and for good reason.
To remind you how powerful a creative artwork can be, and to inspire you with gorgeous frames and images.
Fringe is a storytelling gem that doesn't get enough credit for how awesomely creative and complete it is. (This one's perfect for creative writers who need a little push.)
23. Easy A
Easy A is a new take on an old story, reminding you that there are always new ways to create.
24. Super 8
Another movie about a child's imagination, Super 8 will definitely leave you with a nagging desire to create.
25. Parks And Recreation
Watch Parks and Rec and pretend Leslie Knope is your own personal cheerleader.
26. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
If you need a good cry to be creative, then Perks will definitely do the trick.
Ponder the value of tough love and perfection while thanking the gods that you don't have an evil drum teacher throwing cymbals at your head.
28. Pitch Perfect
A movie to remind you that you don't have to create like everyone else. Don't be afraid to do something experimental.
Dexter is creepy and addictive, so beware of getting sucked into a major marathon when you're supposed to be creating. That said, the opening credits will have you thinking you can make art out of your breakfast, or anything else that comes your way.
30. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Two words: Dracula Musical.
31. The One I Love
The One I Love will have you questioning reality in a good way.
A little reminder that if you can't find inspiration in yourself, you can almost certainly find it in your friends.
Finally, watch Psycho if you're in a creative slump. It will take your mind off your work and inspire you to create something timeless.
If all else fails, take a break and cuddle up in front of your favorite movie or TV show. Once you're feeling good, the creativity will follow.