Getting stuck creatively is emotionally exhausting. Sometimes, even when all the desire in the world is there, the creative flow just won’t come. Artist’s block is a common experience that affects artists of all kinds. The good news is that there are probably as many tips and tricks to get out of a creative rut as there are artists in the world.

A great starting point to getting back on track is to create a clean, efficient work space. Many people enjoy a messy studio. It shows that creativity and passion happen in the space. Too much clutter, however, can turn into an anxiety-inducing distraction. A thousand different art materials close at hand can contribute to indecisiveness and getting stuck in a pattern of staring at a bounty of supplies with no ideas. It’s better to keep the most frequently used supplies close at hand and get the rest out of the way. It might even be helpful to sell or donate those materials that have sat in a dark corner of the studio gathering dust.

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part of being creative. It’s common for an artist to sit in front of a blank page for a long time while nothing happens. Maybe it’s the fear of imperfection. Maybe there are too many ideas swimming in the artist’s head, and they don’t know where to begin. Maybe the mood simply hasn’t struck. Whatever the cause, making that first mark on the page is critical. A good, simple goal to set is to make that first mark every singe day. Type that first word. Make that first, sloppy brush stroke. What it becomes doesn’t matter much. The important part here is getting started.

Outside the studio, looking for inspiration in everyday things is something every artist can do to maintain creative flow. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from anything fancy. It might come from a silly conversation, a feather or a cup of coffee. It could even come from a particularly interesting trash bin. Bringing these treasures home, taking photos or notes, or making quick sketches are good ways to keep these moments of inspiration alive. Anything that ignites a spark, however small, is worth looking at.