As a creative, I’ve had to get out of a creative rut way too many times, that I can’t even remember what I did to get out of every single one of them. It is very frustrating and you start seeing everything blurry. Such as the picture above, that my boyfriend took of me. Frustratingly blurry.
I’ve recently come out of a creative rut myself. And I got out of it really fast, actually. So I’m going to share with you exactly what I did so you can get back to work as soon as possible!
TAKE A BREAK
Sounds obvious, but not many people allow themselves a breath of fresh air. It’s ok to take a break once in a while. If you push yourself without limit, you’ll end up exhausted, saturated and probably in a rut.
Don’t feel guilty to disconnect. We are humans after all, not machines. We can’t work for hours straight without losing our minds.
Go out for a walk. Put music on and close your eyes. Read a book. (I have my own reading list if you’re interested) Take a nap. Watch your favorite TV show. Whatever it takes for you to think of something else.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
When I’m in a rut I usually don’t feel like doing anything really. But I push myself to do just that.
For example, while I was doing my undergraduate collection. During the design stage, there were times where I wasn’t able to draw anything that worked. And I spent too many hours trying but it was no good. So I left everything as it was, and I started watching makeup tutorials. Then I went on and practice those makeup tutorials. Ended up with a beautiful eyeshadow, which was a great accomplishment because I can’t do eyeshadows, to begin with.
So I felt motivated again because I disconnected my mind from what it was saturated with. Learned something new. And felt motivated again and wanted to make and try out new things.
So creativity started flowing again. And eventually, I ended up drawing and finishing my fashion collection.
DROWN YOURSELF WITH INSPIRATION
I get it. The one who is not inspired is you, obviously. But that’s why watching other creatives work their magic can inject a humongous amount of inspiration your way. And by doing this you actually do both the things I told you above; You take a break, and I’m certain you’ll learn some tips and tricks from the pros.
For me, this one is what works faster. My mind can’t stay put, even when I’m exhausted. So if I see another creative do something I knew nothing about, I go straight up and try it out for myself. Experiment, try new angles, give it my own personal twist and before I know it I’m a human being and a creative person again.
I know that you are in a creative rut and ideas are exactly what you can’t come up with. But in reality, like Picasso said; “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”.
That’s right. Even though you can’t come up with anything of value, doesn’t mean you aren’t able to. So grab a notebook, or your phone, or whatever you have in hand and start writing. Even if things don’t make sense. You just start writing. Eventually, something will click. That’s your new idea, that actually works.
GO TO YOUR LOCAL CAFE
Go to your neighborhood’s cafe, whether it’s Starbucks or the local cozy and charming corner cafe on your street. Or even if you have to cross the entire city to go to the cafe that is in your mind right now while reading this.
Grab a coffee or a tea, a snack, whatever. Sit down, and watch people do their thing. And I don’t mean this in a creepy, stalker way. But just watching people talking, people walking down the street, kids running and shouting, and concentrating in just that. It’s some sort of meditation. And complies with Tip No.1. You’ll be taking a break. You’ll disconnect and have some me-time.
You’ll maybe even meet someone new. Or someone you already know. And it can turn out to be a pleasing evening with a friend.
And if you don’t meet anybody, don’t worry. Being alone works just as well.
You just have to try and focus on the little things that we just pass by, because we live in a hectic fast life nowadays. You’ll be surprised how many things you’ve never noticed of your own neighborhood. Because probably you are just looking down at your phone all the time.
This time look around, look up, and find all the new wonders.
You’ll get out of a creative rut in no time.