ART BLOCK - Why You Have It And How To Cure It
How to Overcome Artist's Block
It is not an unusual experience for an artist’s imagination or creativity to dry up. To bring inspiration back into your practice, you will need a lot of persistence and a willingness to play within new boundaries. Doing creative exercises, taking workshops, travel, seeing new places, starting some new research or applying to a residency can all help. At the end of the day, you just need to keep at it.
Using Creative Exercises
Spend a month drawing something you love.Choose a subject matter that you love. For instance, if you love to draw doorways, choose doorways as an object of focus. Each day, for the next thirty days, create an artwork with doorways as a focus. It could be a painting, drawing, mixed media collage, short film, photograph or another media that you enjoy using.
Do ten paintings in ten minutes.A simple time limit can be useful. Put down ten pieces of newsprint on your studio floor or use small pieces of watercolor paper. Set your timer for ten minutes. Paint one sheet a minute.
Redraw a photocopy of one of your drawings.Give yourself some time to draw something. Then, make fifty photocopies. With each photocopy, make a new sketch overtop of the old drawing. Try to find as many ways to alter the original drawing as you can imagine. You should redraw each of the fifty photocopies so that it looks like a completely new artwork.
Ask a friend for an assignment.If you have a mentor you trust, consider asking them for a creative assignment. It is important to ask somebody you know and trust, since they will be most likely to come up with an assignment that will challenge you.
Enroll in an art workshop.Search for workshops that introduce techniques or media that you don’t know, but which could help you build your art practice. By challenging yourself to try a new technique or process, you may find a way out of your artist’s block.
- If you are an abstract paper, try a workshop on realist painting.
- If you normally paint in acrylic, try a workshop on oil painting.
- If you normally shoot digital video, try taking a workshop on super 8 film.
Find something in your daily life that you want to draw or sculpt.Take photos of everyday things around you. Then go back through them and doodle aspects of those photographs. You could also try reframing photographs with a viewfinder or small frame. Zoom in on small parts of an image.
- Find a muse. It can be a person or an animal or whatever inspires you.
Part 1 Quiz
When you're looking for a new assignment, why is it a good idea to ask a friend or mentor for suggestions?
Changing Your Environment
Walk around the block.You may have spent too much time stuck in your studio. Give yourself a few minutes to take a walk around the block. Take your eyes off the pavement in front of you. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells. A short walk can be energizing.
Take a break in an inspiring place.If you have been spending a lot of time in the studio recently, you may simply need to expose yourself to a new place or environment. You don’t need to necessarily go far to find inspiration. You could go to a new garden, find a lookout or a park you’ve never visited in your city. Take some time off in an inspiring place.
Go on a trip.A roadtrip might be what the doctor ordered. Get in your car or book a flight to someplace you’ve always wanted to visit. Take your camera, sketchbook, journal and a few other art materials. Absorb and record your experience of the journey.
Do a residency.There are many artist residencies available that offer the opportunity to work in a new place and with new people. Look into the qualifications and timelines. Find one that you feel is a good fit and send in an application. You may get the chance to spend time in a park, a new city, on the high seas, in a hotel, a gallery or an artistic community.
- For instance, the National Parks have an artist-in-residence program.
Reconnect with nature.Spend some time outside in a park or garden. Go for a hike or arrange some flowers in your garden.
- If you can’t leave the city, spend some time in urban nature, such as a local park or garden.
- If you have some vacation time coming up, go to a wilderness area. Get away from all the noise and find inspiration in nature.
Part 2 Quiz
Why is it a good idea to change your environment if you're experiencing artist's block?
Changing Your Creative Routine
Make time and space for your practice.In order to overcome artist’s block, you need the time and the space to do it. First, make sure you have a place to work. It could be a gorgeous loft but, if the resources for a nice studio are unavailable, it could also be your kitchen table. Then, make sure you have the time to work. Set aside a specific amount of time and commit to it on a daily basis.
- If your studio is messy, it is important to clean it up. However, don’t spend time cleaning as an excuse not to work.
- If you are unhappy with some aspect of your studio space, it makes sense to address it. For instance, if you don’t like the wall color, perhaps you should paint your studio.
Take a break from email and technology.If you tend to spend a lot of time in front of a computer or answering emails on your smart phone, you may benefit from a timeout. Take a day away from technology and just focus on your creative practice.
Switch projects.If you feel stuck with one creative project, you could switch to a different project. Perhaps spending time with a different project will give you inspiration for the project that is making you feel blocked.
Change mediums.If you paint, start working with clay. If you create collages, try pen and ink. Explore new materials and tools. Look at shapes, rhythms and color in your life and outside your studio walls. Take a camera and just shoot what you find appealing.
Visit a library or bookstore.Browse through the nice books. Do some research on a topic you’ve been wanting to explore.
- Visit a big book store and go to the art or photography books section. Sit on the floor and peruse to your heart's content.
Take care of yourself.Neglecting your bodily, emotional and spiritual needs cramps creativity. Spend a little more time on the masterpiece of you. Get your body moving and eat a solid meal.
- Work-out at a gym or take a run at a park.
- Sleep and you may find yourself energized to make work in the morning.
Start where you are.There will always be excuses to avoid making time for your creative practice, such as fear of making “bad art” or everyday chores that get in the way. At the end of the day, you need to give yourself permission to make something. It may take a little courage and persistence, but you need to start somewhere!
- Throw some paint on a canvas. Release any emotional stress that might be in you.
- The important thing is to wake up in the morning and jump into something.
- Start with something easy, such as preparing a canvas.
- Persistence is the key. As artist Chuck Close says, “Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Part 3 Quiz
What is the most important step to beat your artist's block
QuestionWhat do I do if I have an idea but I don't know how to draw it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLook at examples of art involving that subject by other artists. Study it and try to recreate what they did. It may take several attempts. Then take parts of what they did and what you learned to make your own art. To avoid any copyright claims, don't post your studies on social media.Thanks!
QuestionThere are alot of artists who develop very identifiable "styles" of art, how do I develop my own style?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou have to give yourself time to develop your voice and style. Find work that inspires you. Stay persistent.Thanks!
QuestionI love to draw, but I don't have the motivation to. I leave my sketchbook feeling frustrated and annoyed, and I end up throwing my art out. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry returning to your original motivations for making art. Write in your journal about your motivations as an artist. Take care of yourself and visit someplace new, then try sketching again.Thanks!
QuestionOvercoming my long time Artist Block, where do I start?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to start where you are. One day at a time, give yourself time and space for your creative practice.Thanks!
QuestionHow to figure out what to paint if you can't go out and explore and get ideas?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo to a new film, look for inspiration at your local art gallery or online.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if something that has happened is affecting me, there is this block beecause of someone, what do I do? I've tried all this other stuff btw.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to find some help with this specific interpersonal situation. Tackle that first, and then try some of the methods described above.Thanks!
Is there any websites that can help with poses & such?
How do I get ideas when I have artist's block?
- Just draw or doodle for a bit. Swirls, clouds, bubbles, word pairings. Eventually, you may find you've created a masterpiece without even trying!
- Don't compare yourself to other artists. Many artists consider blocks to be important in their creative process.
- Some artists say hard work and research helps them overcome artist’s block.
- Listen to new music.
- Go see a slew of movies on big screen. The images might trigger something.
- If you have an underlying condition, find appropriate therapy or medication.
- Don't start thinking about whether a piece will sell or not. Just do it for yourself.
- The fear of making "bad art” can come from comparing your art to others. Instead, compare your art to previous projects to see how much you have improved.
Video: THE 4 BEST WAYS TO FIX ART BLOCK
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