How to get out of an artistic rut

Here is a list of things you can do to break out of a creative rut…


  1. Read an inspiring rut-breaking book. I highly recommend “The Artist’s Way”

  2. Do something different. Take a break if you just are getting frustrated and nowhere. That could mean a walk for 20 minutes or that could mean a week-long getaway.

  3. Get healthy - your brain will work SO MUCH better! Sleep well, drink less alcohol, exercise, get outside, drink water, cut down on sweet drinks, sugar and simple carbs, and eat your veggies!

  4. Feed yourself spiritually - commune with fireflies and hummingbirds, get involved in a purposeful community like a church or charity, or read books that feed your heart. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl and “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle are life changers!

  5. Look at your art as play, not work. If you find yourself putting too much pressure on your paintings, take a step back and get back into play mode.

  6. Embrace mistakes - making mistakes and allowing mistakes is a CRUCIAL part of moving your art forward. They are a requirement. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not pushing yourself enough creatively!

  7. Try again, but try it a little differently. Use a different paint brush, a different combination of colors, a different painting surface, etc

  8. Educate yourself. Always be learning new things. We live in a glorious age for this - there are books, blogs, videos and online communities that can enrich your own base of knowledge

  9. Connect with a community - join an online group on Facebook or Reddit, get involved in your local art league, take a class with a local artist, meet new people. Relationships and community have enriched my life as an artist more than I could’ve ever imagined! Come chat up my own online art community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/rachelswatercolorworkshop

  10. Just show up and do the work without judgment. Don’t wait to feel inspired. Get your brushes wet every day or at least every week! Just do a little bit, at least. Often I’ll use this trick and tell myself I’m just going to paint one small thing for a few moments, and then I get into it and paint for an hour or more! Other times I don’t and that is a clear sign I need to take a break.

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