All artists can hit a rut, sometimes. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, or how dedicated, you will inevitably come to a point where it feels like you’re not firing on all cylinders. Perhaps you’re tired, or bored with all your projects, or you simply lack new inspiration. It happens to everyone, but it can be hard to find a way out of the rut. This is especially true in current circumstances when everyone across the world is struggling with increased levels of stress and insecurity. However, there are a few neat tricks you can use to help yourself refocus, refresh, and start working creatively again.
Take a Break
Sometimes the most effective way to start working again is to stop trying. Banging your head against a brick wall won’t solve anything – it will only give you a sore head! If you can, now is the perfect time to give yourself a break. You can pick the length of time, whether it’s a day off or an entire month. Allowing your brain and body the space to zone out, rebuild, and most importantly get bored, can be the best way to kickstart yourself back into action. Remember, it isn’t just office workers who deserve holidays, and leisure time can be just as effective as trying to push through.
Clean Your Studio
Whether you’re a writer or a sculptor, your workspace can have a dramatic effect on your state of mind, and therefore your work. If you are struggling to concentrate, taking a day to completely clean or reorganize your working area can have huge and unexpected benefits. Decluttering your environment will also declutter your mind, allowing you to return to your practice with a breath of fresh air. If you’re lucky enough to work in your own studio that you want to deep clean, it may be worth hiring a mobile sandblasting service vehicle to really get into all those paint-stains that have accumulated over years of work.
Try Something New
Aside from taking a break or clearing your workspace, how about having a go at something new? If you’re finding it difficult to focus on your artistic area, picking up a completely different skill can kickstart the creative parts of your brain into action. So, if you’re a painter, get hold of some clay and play around with sculpture for a bit. If you usually undertake metalwork, grab a paintbrush, or even try your hand at some embroidery! Developing an artistic skill that doesn’t have the same pressures attached as your main discipline can do wonders for your mindset.
Telling yourself to produce great works of art and work nonstop for the next year is the least useful thing you can do to get yourself out of a rut. Your brain will panic, shut down, and refuse to get started. Instead, give yourself small goals to aim for. Don’t attempt to work a full day – instead, aim to complete a single small drawing or maquette. Success will make you feel good, and it’ll be much easier to build slowly back up to full steam than trying to plunge in all at once.
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