If you’re feeling frustrated with your skill level or lack of opportunities as an artist, take heart. It’s a perfectly natural feeling. Having a pity party for yourself isn’t. Here are seven things you can do RIGHT NOW to break out of your creative rut.
1. Build your network. Talk to other people and form a small “master mind” group. Find peers in your field of study. Find mentors as well. If they are local to your area, make it a point to meet up. I’m part of a local “Drink and Draw” scene where several artists from the Tampa Bay area get together and hang out. We meet once a month and share laughs and learn more about the projects everyone is working on. It’s a social and friendly exchange and it does wonders for recharging my creative batteries.
2. Divorce the negative that surrounds you. Turn off the TV, ditch the “Negative Nancys”, and stop watching the news. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who are positive and encouraging. For some of you, this might mean pruning your Facebook feeds.
3. Regularly read books that will inspire and uplift you. A great place to start is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Buy a copy and read it. Then read it again and take notes. Then read it again because you probably missed a few things.
4. Change your scenery. If you work at home, consider stepping away. Get some sun. Find a public place, like a library or coffee shop.
5. Get rid of the clutter. Your studio space is where work gets done. Keep it clean so you can focus on the work. That means no half bags of Cheetos or smelly socks. Visual clutter has a tendency to make one feel less focused. And while you’re at it, consider rearranging your workspace so it fits HOW you work.
6. Learn new skills. If you’re not learning something new every single day, you are stagnating. The Internet is full of great tutorials. Budget an hour a day to learn something new and put it into practice.
7. Exercise! If you’re sitting at your computer for hours on end you are slowly killing yourself. Go for a run. Ride a bike. Practice using nunchuks. The improved circulation will help you think clearly and leave you feeling more upbeat.
The important thing you should know about creative ruts is that they happen to all of us at one point or another. Accept it as a fact of life, but don’t be crippled by it. Work hard, be positive and always keep yourself open to learning new skills. Your persistence will pay off.