Stuck In a Rut

by Nick Reitan

3 Creative Resources I Use for Improving My Illustrating Skills.

Week after week, designs can start to feel very repetitive in this line of work. As a Design Intern, I have the opportunity to create a wide range of different projects. The struggle that I face is finding inspiration when I have another project to finish. I find myself sticking to what’s comfortable, not pushing to find a new source of inspiration.

Over the last two months, I’ve been actively looking for ways to keep my skills sharp. I find that by reading and practicing new and interesting projects, I am able to draw inspiration for upcoming projects. I would like to share a few of these resources with you!

The first resource I stumbled across has been one of my most used resources over the summer. Art Prompts, a random generator for art “prompts” and inspiration is a tool I have used when I need a push in the right direction. It offers a quick phrase to get you thinking about something new to try. Clicking through the options gives you endless possibilities. I even use this to inspire a few blog graphics featured on our website! Like this image from a blog on Master Data Management.

Blog Image

When I am running a little low on projects, I think it’s important to keep myself busy with projects that simulate actual work. This keeps me engaged and helps refine my skills at the same time. The only problem with trying to find projects, not knowing where to start. That’s where Tuts Plus comes in handy. Through little projects called “tuts” you’re instructed to build and create something using a predefined set of rules. In addition, you can learn new skills and techniques by participating in an online course! This is a great way to spend a little free time while still keeping up on your designing skills.


Finally, I know it’s not everyone’s favorite thing to do, but I love to read. I find that reading is the easiest way to keep up with design trends, new improvements, and the most recent projects. Part of this is reading about new design trends emerging. I love reading Creative Bloq when I get the chance. They always have interesting articles, new projects, design examples, and free fonts. This is one of my favorite websites to hang out at, admittedly far too much time tends to be spent browsing their pages!


I still find all sorts of different tools and project resources to use every day. These three happen to work well for me, I recommend you try to find a few that work even better for you! If there’s anything I have learned, it’s to always keep yourself moving forward and learning new techniques. It helps you to evolve with the design community and stay on-top of the constantly evolving design universe.

Happy Illustrating!