Escaping artistic ruts art

No matter your major, it’s a common feeling to be lacking in creativity. This feeling can be anywhere from slightly annoying to devastating, and can make it a struggle to come up with good essay topics or find motivation for even the smallest artistic projects. When I get stuck in a creative rut it can feel like there’s no escape. It’s like I can’t remember what it feels like to be inspired or passionate about a project. Here are three things I do to crawl out of a creative block.

1. Turn off the screens 

The first thing I do when I realize I’m feeling unimpressed with my creativity is shut off all non-essential screens. This includes social media, streaming platforms and even texting. By doing this, I clear my mind and make room to let the creative juices flow. 

While cutting out movies and television may sound like a punishment your mom used to give you as a child, doing this helps to focus on productive ways to be creative.

2. Cook or go out for an extravagant meal 

One of the hardest concepts for me to grasp when I first started college was that if I didn’t grocery shop and cook, there’d be no food. Whenever I start feeling the lack of creative motivation, I find a day where I can make time to plan a complex feast. 

The whole process is like a ritual. I find some cookbooks to pull from. I make a list and condense it into three or four financially reasonable things to make. Then, I can go to my favorite grocery stores to collect ingredients. And while I may have to eat cheap for the rest of the week to stay on budget, it’s always worth it to feel more inspired. 

This simple process of making something helps me get into the creative mindset. The process is easy to do — even when feeling uninspired — and helps me feel more artistic.

3. Do something out of the ordinary 

Get out at 2 a.m. for tacos, go for a walk in the middle of a school day, try out a new coffee shop, do something that is not mundane or ordinary in your life — by doing something you wouldn’t often find yourself doing, you can reset your mindset to get creative juices flowing. You may experience something that sets off those lightbulbs. 

For example, one day I decided to enter a small shop I had never seen before in downtown Lincoln, and I stumbled across a collection of horrifying vintage doll postcards. Later I used them in a mood board for a large poster series I ended up creating for my graphic design class. Even the weirdest places can deliver creative results. 

The workload of college combined with the stress of multiple jobs is an exhausting reality many of us face. It can be hard to stay inspired, especially in more creative majors that require artistic and conceptual projects to be produced every other week. However, the previously mentioned tips and tricks might help you get reinspired too.