Stuck in a Creative Rut?
Getting stuck in a creative rut happens to the best of us. It seems like every muse that ever was has abruptly left the planet and left us alone to wither away in our uninspired, unmotivated, and uncreative lives.
What is one to do?
Well, get up and challenge yourself, of course!
It goes without saying that the best challenge is the daily sketch. But, I suggest doing this in the form of monthly challenges. You don’t have to wait for #Inktober to roll around. Line up challenges for every month. The temporary nature of monthly challenges keeps you from falling into another rut knowing that at the end of the month you’ll be moving on to something new.
Creative rut beware!
Three simple challenges can break your creative rut. (Photo Credit: 123RF Copyright: Luis Molinero Martnez)
The three challenges I always fall back on are as follows:
- Daily prompts. This type of challenge is what Inktober is. Every day, you are given a different word. And every day, you interpret that word with a sketch. You can make word prompts of your own or just Google drawing prompts. You’ll have a fair number to choose from. You can use any drawing tool you like and maybe leave the ink specifically for Inktober. There are no rules here.
- Assign a theme to every month. You can also assign a different medium for every month. For example, January will be for watercolor landscapes. February can be for Copic marker characters. March is for pencil people studies and April is for ballpoint pen animals. You get the idea.
- This one can incorporate the first two, but a limitation is imposed. For example, if you’re drawing animals for the month, the stipulation might be using only red, blue, and yellow color pencils. Or you might decide to do cityscapes on another month with a time constraint. By using limitations like this, you stimulate creativity by problem solving. If your limitation is only using a blue ballpoint pen, you have to figure out tone, values, special effects, etc. And limiting time forces you to throw caution to the wind and be looser and more gestural by not investing so much time agonizing over details.
So the next time you fall into a creative rut, use any one of these challenges or a combination of challenges to not only get you going again, but keep you going.
Do you have a challenge you prefer that’s not listed here? Comment and fill us in. The more tools we have, the better off we all are.