Firstly, what do you do? Paint, sculpt, play music, write, photograph...?
Secondly, if you want to create an artistic piece, do you force yourself to sit down and hammer it out? Do you wait for inspiration? Do/did you get high? Immerse yourself in other stuff that moves you? Get new gear? Try a new instrument/medium? Something else?
Woah, how has no one commented on this yet?
Well, I'm nowhere near a professional artist, I mostly just draw in my free time. Usually, I just pick up a pencil and randomly doodle on a piece of notebook paper or in a sketchbook. If I feel like my sketch has potential or I really like it, I'll probably end up turning that idea into a finished piece.
For the past few years I've mainly focused on digital art, but lately I've been going back to traditional art (mostly watercolors,) and I must say, just by switching the medium I work with I feel like my muse has increased ten-fold. I suddenly have way more ideas and inspiration than when I was using the same tools to draw all the time. It's a really wonderful feeling :)
I am a graphic designer, and whenever I have to be creative, I tend to listen to music. For me either Classical or Heavy Metal work best.
And like Morgana said, sketch ideas. Thumbnails and research are key. Unless inspiration strikes, and you get that golden idea right away.
Also, what I found that works for me, when I'm in a creative slump is try to do mindless work. Repetitive tasks and stuff that doesn't take any brainpower to do. You get lost in the mindlessness of the work and your brain is free to wander.
Firstly, what do you do? Sculpt, draw, paint, fiber arts, jewelry arts, and many more depending on resources available
Secondly, if you want to create an artistic piece, do you force yourself to sit down and hammer it out? If you have a deadline, you do have to do this. If you've been blocked for a while, it sometimes helps to force yourself to make some crap and then once you're warmed up, do the real thing. Do you wait for inspiration? I like to, but that can be a long time coming. Do/did you get high? Never. Except contact highs in public venues but that's not exactly inspiting. :-) Immerse yourself in other stuff that moves you? That's a great way of doing things. Get new gear? Done this but it didn't lead to more work, just more art crap and the expectation that I had to use it brought a lot of pressure.
I like to take photographs from my daily life and keep a casual sketch journal for catching ideas. I'll do research and detailed planning if it's a difficult concept that needs flushing out or if the medium is fickled to work with. I like to color in adult coloring books when I'm blocked because it's easy but it still requires some creativity with color schemes, color choices, and of course, it keeps my craftsmanship precise. I've also found this can be really relaxing and sometimes use it to meditate/empty the mind.
For me if a design is not working out within 20mins it's time to take a break from it and come back at it later in the day.
That is me btw. On my test account fixing some bugs :]
I write. I am not a professional writer though. I periodically set aside some time for writing if I have the energy for it. I usually get ideas from conversations, people watching and daydreaming during boring tasks and I let those ideas sit on the back-burner for a while until I can connect them in a way I find amusing. I will find my sketch pad and draw the people/animals involved in what I am writing about while I organize my thoughts about them. If I am writing a fiction, I write a character description for reference and think of each character as being like a chess piece. I think of every which way they could interact with the other characters and all the other ways the other characters might interact with that character. I then think of a way to weave together the sub-plots into the main plot and hammer away.
I write music. If I'm feeling inspired, I often just sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, get comfortable and start writing. However, if I find that I'm completely unable to come up with anything good, I'll walk away, take a shower, eat something, play a video game, or whatever for a while before going back.