Have you ever heard of artist’s block?
Have you ever felt like the things that once pushed you to create now don’t exist anymore? Have you ever thought “ugh, I don’t want to draw or paint. I don’t want to do anything”? Have you ever stared at a blank page without the desire or idea to create anything?
If that have happened more than once or if that has lasted a very long time, well, my dear, you might have an artist’s block.
WHAT IS AN ARTIST’S BLOCK?
An artist’s block (also known as a creative block or art block) is a period when an artist cannot access their creativity and/or they cannot bring themselves to create a new piece of work. They feel like they have run out of ideas, or temporarily lose all motivation to do anything art related.
The reasons may be multiple, but the common ones are:
Feeling drained of all creative energy after a fully immersed period of creating
A loss of meaning and purpose in one’s work
Self-doubt, negative self-talk or criticism
The need for perfection
Repeated rejection of one’s work
Anxiety regarding the outcome of a project or task
Stress from everyday life
Illness or medical condition
The death of a loved one or the end of a relationship
A lack of financial support
The toxic environment you are living in
It can be challenging to get past a creative block, but often simply becoming aware of when, how, and why a creative block develops can help a person work to address the creative block and prevent it from returning.
HOW TO OVERCOME AN ART BLOCK?
The biggest mistake we can make with a creative block is to let it get to us. Don’t freak out. It happens to everyone, and you might even experience more than one art block during your lifetime.
You will draw and paint again; you just have to be patient.
1. FIND OUT THE CAUSE
The first thing I do is to find what is causing my art block and try to get into balance.
My creative block usually comes from the stress of everyday life. I have a full-time job, and when I get back home I have a house to clean, meals to prep, the gym or yoga to practice in order to eat without feeling guilty HA! All the admin stuff to do, replying to emails, commission deadlines, a blog to keep up with etc. All this chaotic life pushes us to do more and more without taking a break. What’s worse is that I feel guilty if I take a break, and I shouldn’t feel that way.
2. GO FOR A WALK
We artists are sons of Mother Nature. We are weird, and we all feel connected to Mother Earth in a special way.
And when it comes to stress, there is nothing better than a walk in the nature.
3. MOVE YOUR BODY
This means: move your body. Do some yoga, go to the gym, do something fun. Body movement helps to relieve stress, and it helps your body release serotonin and endorphins, the hormones of happiness.
4. BE SOCIAL
I’m an extrovert introvert, and sometimes I really can’t stand people but guess what? Socializing will help you get rid of the creative block.
And when I say socializing I mean talk to interesting people, people who are creative themselves, thinkers, poets, anyone who you can have a deep conversation with.
5. CLEAN YOUR SPACE
Cleaning up your space is a great way to get your creativity flow back. When you set up your space to be clean and creatively helpful rather than stressfully messy, it can help you relax enough to get that creative flow going.
It’s like having a bath and go to sleep in fresh, clean bedsheets. Is there anything better than that?
6. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
I know this sounds so cliché-y, but it works. Do something you’re are scared of or that you would never do.
Adrenaline is the best drug, and it will help you find new motivation.
7. LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Sometimes the artist block is caused by our dissatisfaction.
As an artist is always a good idea to learn something new or experiment, new things, new styles, new mediums. Maybe you will find out some new talents of yours.
For example, if you haven’t tried complex Islamic geometry, you could try with one of my online courses.
8. RE-DO SOMETHING OLD
When you feel like your pencil is heavier than a 12kg dumbbell and the blank page scares the hell out of you, you may want to redraw an old pattern or something you have already done.
This is a great way to notice how much you have improved and how far you have come. Who knows maybe you will find that sparkle that pushed you to start with your art and you come back to draw/paint again.
For example if you have tried one of my free tutorials then download them again and try these easy patterns out one more time.
How to Overcome Artist’s Block
October 22, 2020
This made my heart happy! Practical and useful tips. Lovely blog series.
Wonderful advice here, thankyou sandy. I will make sure to take note of these handy tips. I experienced a creative block that seemed to last an awfully long time(about 6 years or more) after the death of two close family members. Then the added stress of every day life and other factors on top certainly didn’t help either. Plus I was always my own worst critic, constantly striving for perfection in everything I did. Accidentaly or coincidentally stumbling upon islamic/sacred geometry about a year ago, i knew nothing about it but yet it seemed to stir something up inside of me! Just looking at pictures of your art and many other artist’s work motivated me to have a go! l’m so..so happy to have finally got my spark back. Don’t get me wrong it still comes and goes but I’ve not felt this motivated to create in years. I’ve even been brave and had a dabble with water colour too! I’ll definitely have to work on the inner perfectionist bit though. Looking forward to your next blog update. Thanks again.
This is a great list for getting out of a rut! I have bookmarked it – I feel like this will be useful in many blocked situations, not only artistic ones. Thanks Sandy!
[…] How to overcome artist’s block […]