Creative Problem Solving for Artists

creative problem solvingEven the most talented artists and savvy business people run into problems now and then. Procrastination, rejection, dealing with the inner critic, perfectionist tendencies and relocating are among the many problems you may encounter in your creative career. So what do you do about them? In her article “Handling Problems the Creative Way,” Holly deWolf suggests that you approach your problems just as you would any other aspect of your art, creatively. Over the coming weeks I’ll share deWolf’s tips for creative problem solving right here. Read on below for our first creative problem solving segment and stay tuned for more in the coming weeks! If you can’t wait to see the rest of deWolf’s problem-solving tips, check out the complete article on

Keep creating and good luck!


Handling Problems the Creative Way

No matter what you do in your career, there will be many bumps along the way. Call them hiccups or Hindenburgs. Either way, these disruptions can leave many of us scrambling for a solution. Don’t panic. You are not alone. No one is handed a magic wand for all the little disruptions that can come with this business. Time to get problem solving fast!

What doesn’t break you and knock you down can only make you creatively stronger. Resilience is being able to rebound from a difficult situation. How well you return to your normal creative self after rejection, illness and adversity says a lot about your creative nature. The good news is that falling down half a dozen times will help you handle anything this career throws your way. Don’t get rattled. Instead, try another approach.

“See problems as holes in the ground. You can dig deeper, or you can break new ground.”


Von R. Glitschka turned around a potentially bad situation in February 2002 after he got fired.

“I went into work about an hour early to catch up on stuff, and my boxes were packed, and they handed me a check. Getting the boot wasn’t fun, mainly because I [had] a wife and kids that depended on me and a mortgage to pay. But in hindsight it was the best career move for me. Forced me to leave a comfort zone that frankly was holding me back and has equipped me to pursue many things I otherwise would never have been able to do if I was working for someone else. My personality and drive [are] perfect for the flexibility of being my own boss, so it’s worked out great, and I get to spend more time with my family, too.

“The first six months were hard. I actually went on two interviews, but both stated, ‘You’re overqualified.’ My wife suggested I start my own business, and that proved to be the best advice anyone gave me. At the end of the first year, I was floored when we did our tax return, and I saw for the first time in a very pragmatic way how well I had done. Every year since, my business has grown, and new creative opportunities have presented themselves, and for that I am really thankful.”

You will have lots of practice with frustrating moments. The illustration road can be bumpy, just like any other small business. The way you handle it makes all the difference. Don’t question yourself. Most importantly, make sure you get back up after you’ve been knocked down.


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