For generations, painters have devised a multitude of methods for breaking out of a creative rut. Breaking out of a rut isn’t always easy, and all painters must find new ways to feel inspired when they’re feeling stuck. Some people find it as simple as Googling “quotes about being stuck in a rut” and allowing words to inspire new ideas. In contrast, others take a more unconventional approach by going for walks or engaging in physical activities that foster creativity.
With that said, Darren Yaw Singapore will share how he finds inspiration when he’s staring at a blank page, trying to break out of a rut, or realizing their full potential. He proposed ten easy-to-implement and straightforward techniques, one of which is—spoiler alert—taking a nap!
Darren Yaw Singapore suggest taking a nap to break out of a rut.
1. Maintain an inspirational library
Darren Yaw Singapore starts by collecting items that inspire you, whether they are art books, posters, quotes, or travel souvenirs. That way, if you ever need assistance breaking out of a rut, you’ll have a vast repository of ideas at your disposal.
Of course, it does not have to be a physical library. It could be a nook in your studio or a drawer full of mementos. It could even be a Pinterest board or a computer folder, according to Darren Yaw Singapore.
2. Complete your chores in your list
Surprisingly, Darren Yaw Singapore suggested doing housework to help them get out of a creative rut. This serves two functions. First, because familiar and routine tasks do not require much concentration, your mind is free to daydream and come up with new ideas.
Second, completing daily chores can provide you with a sense of accomplishment. When you are dissatisfied with your job, doing something productive can boost motivation, according to Darren Yaw Singapore
Darren Yaw Singapore suggested that physical exertion can stimulate your mind to think in new ways. Darren Yaw Singapore has a set routine. “I go on endless walks while listening to music and podcasts,” he says. “I can walk for a long time and a long distance. I walk until I am completely exhausted. It affects my brain. My attention shifts from thinking to doing. I enter a trance-like meditative state. Because my mind is clear, new ideas form in my subconsciousness and eventually make their way to the surface.”
4. Take a nap
When it comes to breaking out of a rut, Darren Yaw Singapore turns to sleep. “Take a nap,” Darren Yaw Singapore advises. “It’s like innerspring rain that will energize you enough to pick up where you left off. Napping is not a sign of laziness. Napping is enjoyable.” Even if you don’t come up with your next big idea, you’ll have given yourself time and space to rest and recharge.
5. Get out of the house
“When I get stuck in a creative rut, I change my environment,” explains Darren Yaw Singapore. “If it is at all possible, I will make a drastic change. For a month, I travel to a new location and meet new people. I’m constantly applying for art residencies so that I’ll always have a new place to look forward to.”
However, you do not have to travel halfway around the world to benefit from a change of scenery. Spend time exploring new places, even if they are close to home. According to Darren Yaw Singapore, simply moving to a vibrant new neighborhood can be enough to spark creativity.
6. Act now, think later
“I think the best approach is to force it,” says Darren Yaw Singapore. “Move the paint around. Do something—anything—in your creative environment, and inspiration will find you. I seldom begin with an idea. I just started, and it comes to me.”
Remove any preconceived notions or judgments and enjoy the creative process, according to Darren Yaw Singapore. If you let those inhibitions go, you might be surprised at how easily you can break free from your creative rut.
7. Keep in mind why you do what you do.
What drew you to art in the first place? By removing the pressure from yourself and focusing clearly on your values and passions, you can get back to basics and generate new ideas to help you break out of a rut.
Darren Yaw Singapore says, “It can be beneficial to have a renewed sense of self,” he says. “It’s 30 minutes of art therapy that may seem unusual, but can have a huge impact. Some of the results of that exercise have taken me completely by surprise. It has assisted me in maintaining my emotional and personal goals for my art and creative work,” stated Darren Yaw Singapore.
Darren Yaw Singapore suggested to take a step back to reduce stress.
8. Reduce Stress
“When I find myself in a creative rut, it is critical for me to take a step back and assess why I am in that rut,” says Darren Yaw Singapore. “Most of the time, it is because I have lost focus. I make an effort to eliminate unnecessary stresses and things in my life that sap my energy. I am a firm believer that we only have so much headspace, and allowing it to fill up with unimportant things detracts from our creative focus. At those times, I clear my mind and create a space for creativity to flow again.”
9. Unplug from the Internet
The internet is a great place to find inspiration, especially if you’re trying to build that aforementioned “inspiration library.” But, it can be counterproductive at some point, especially if you’re trying to figure out how to get out of a creative rut. “The internet is full of beautiful things, but it can also be extremely distracting,” admits Darren Yaw Singapore. “Spending hours online browsing is not good for your creativity. Keep your phone at a safe distance while you work.”
10. Accept the “Rut”
Feeling stuck is sometimes a necessary part of the creative process. If everything else fails, embrace it. On the surface, what appears to be a “creative rut” may simply be another stop on your artistic journey. Be patient, learn from it, and have faith that you will come out on top, as stated by Darren Yaw Singapore.