Around a year ago I was in a creative rut, but didn't know why. I was producing good work at my job. I was happy with it. Others seemed to be happy with it. So why was I in this rut?
One great thing about working with incredibly talented people/friends is that they can inspire you. And that is exactly what happened. Some of my friends started posting some great personal work on Instagram (links below). I got so energized seeing them explore new types of art and techniques without any type of client constraint. Then it finally hit me—I wasn't doing any personal work. I've preached the importance of growth and exploration through personal work for years, but I'd forgotten to actually do it.
So I started doing more personal art. I started trying new things that I saw friends of mine doing, like hand lettering. And things changed. I felt happier, more fulfilled and I grew as an artist. (My wife would probably say I also became a lot more pleasant to be around.)
I recently noticed that I've been in a writing rut the past few years. I used to write regularly. Now I don't and that frustrates me. But artistic frustration exists to push you away from itself and into new things. So I'm listening to that frustration. I don't know where it will take me, but I know it will feed my creative soul and that's enough to convince me it's worth it.
If you're in an artistic rut and feeling frustrated, know that your frustration is trying to lead you somewhere. Who inspires you now? What can you learn from them? What new ideas and techniques can you explore?
Can't think of anyone to inspire you? Here are a few of the people inspired me and helped me realize my artistic frustration. Thanks, guys!