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Five Ways To Get Out Of A Creative Rut

Listen, making art is wonderful. The creative process is honestly addicting; standing back and admiring the final product of all your hard work is one of the best highs an art student can achieve, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Eventually, you can hit a snag and instead of basking in the glory of your masterpiece, take a step back and realize that you hate what you’ve produced. This happens to anyone who’s ever created art (and if you’re reading this article and think to yourself, “I love everything I’ve produced equally,” then you’re probably lying, much like parents who say they love all of their children equally- it just doesn’t happen in real life). Fortunately, getting stuck in a creative block isn’t the end of the world and there are ways to get out of one. Here are some of my tips on how to get out of a creative rut.


1. Take a god damn break

Seriously, do it. Put down the pen, paintbrush, or whatever art implement you’re using and go watch some god damn TV. Pushing yourself harder during a rut is probably the worst thing you can do and will honestly just lead to you crying in your bathtub at three in the morning (it’s specific, I know, but it happens). Set a timer for about an hour or two and sit back and relax, you’ve earned it.


2. Get up and MOVE.

Follow the advice of my favorite sentient wig turned singer and MOVE YOUR BODY. Dumb jokes aside, this is actually pretty important and getting out and doing some light exercise can help clear your head (and your skin apparently, but I’ve yet to see those results). Going for a quick jog or walk can greatly improve your mood and help you gain clarity on a project that you’ve been having an issue with.


3. Get a change of location

If you’re following the gospel of SIA then you’ve already been moving your body, but sometimes exercising isn’t an option for some people which is totally valid. Instead, just leaving your workspace and relocating to a new space can help improve productivity. If you can’t go far, I’d suggest going to a different room in your house and if you live in a dorm there are usually study places you can go to on campus.


4. Eat a snack

I don’t actually know if this helps most people but sometimes I eat Goldfish Crackers when I’m having a hard time with a project and for some reason that helps me, but that’s probably just because Goldfish Crackers bring me so much joy.


5. Treat yourself to something nice.

TREAT. YO. SELF. Seriously, do something nice for yourself. It can be anything you want- all that matters is that you’re rewarding yourself for doing your best!

Lindsay Bonavolonta is a film and animation student currently studying at SAIC. Lindsay has many hobbies, including (but not limited to) collecting weird business cards and buying cursed furbies off of Ebay. When Lindsay isn't playing video games badly she spends her time writing and making comics.
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