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How do you handle art blocks in your way?

How do you handle art blocks in your way?

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Garima’s Answer

Well, you’ve already taken the first step by asking this question, so you’re handling it well. Art block is a temporary phase that every artist faces once in a while, and it's frustrating not to create something. But if we look at it another way, the artist is trying to create something new or different; they just haven't succeeded yet. In the learning process, making mistakes is totally normal. While it may not feel good, it is an essential part of improvement. Here are some tips to handle art block:

Garima recommends the following next steps:

1. Take a Break: Step away from your work for a while. This will help you feel better, relaxed, and clear your mind.
2. Brainstorm Ideas: Once your mind is calm, think about what you want to draw or paint. Consider what kind of art you enjoy and if there are any new mediums you'd like to try.
3. Set a Goal: Finalize one goal on what you want to create.
4. Break It Down: Divide that goal into smaller goals. Focus on achieving these smaller goals without worrying too much about the results.
5. Lastly have fun and enjoy the process. Best of luck on your artistic journey!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear K,

Tackling Creative Roadblocks

Creative roadblocks, often known as art blocks, can be a daunting hurdle for artists, designers, and creative minds alike. However, there are a multitude of strategies you can adopt to conquer these blocks and rekindle your creative fire:

Pause and Rest: At times, the most effective remedy for an art block is to distance yourself from your work momentarily. This break offers your mind a chance to rest and rejuvenate, potentially leading to a surge of fresh ideas upon your return.

Venture into the Unknown: Dabbling in unfamiliar mediums, styles, or techniques can disrupt the routine and stimulate new creative paths. Venturing beyond your comfort zone can ignite creativity and assist in overcoming the block.

Find Your Muse: Immerse yourself in potential sources of inspiration, such as art galleries, literature, films, or the beauty of nature. Inspiration can strike from the most unexpected corners and spark new concepts.

Establish Targets: Formulating specific targets or setting personal challenges can lend structure and drive during a creative block. Whether it's finishing a minor project or adopting a new method, having a target can help channel your creativity.

Team Up: Teaming up with other artists or creatives on collaborations or group projects can introduce fresh viewpoints and concepts. Joint efforts can help shatter creative blocks by offering novel insights and methodologies.

Embrace Mindfulness: Participating in mindfulness activities like meditation or yoga can help declutter your mind and alleviate stress, paving the way for uninhibited creativity.

Reflect on Previous Work: A look back at your previous work can occasionally ignite new concepts or remind you of techniques that slipped your mind. Reflecting on your artistic journey can offer valuable insights into your creative process.

Maintain Optimism: Bear in mind that creative blocks are a normal phase of the artistic journey and they too shall pass. Stay optimistic and be patient with yourself during these periods.

By integrating these strategies into your creative routine, you can effectively steer through art blocks and continue to create inspiring work.

Top 3 Credible References Used:

Harvard Health Publishing - Offers scientifically-backed information on mental health strategies, including mindfulness practices that can assist in conquering creative blocks.

The Tate Modern - Provides a glimpse into artistic inspiration and techniques through its modern art collection, serving as a useful tool for overcoming art blocks.

Psychology Today - Showcases articles on creativity, mental health, and strategies for tackling hurdles in the creative process, delivering expert guidance on effectively managing art blocks.

Blessings,
JC.
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Aaron’s Answer

Artist blocks are very common in early career/school environment. It is not a negative reflection on your creativity, instead it is the opposite. Established artists are often required to do the same thing over and over. This is because galleries want to be able to sum up their artists easily and lectures or commissions are all based on what you are known for. So, not shifting gears, while boring makes the artist-block less likely. The infinite possibilities coupled with a self-critical mind creates the block. However, we all hit blocks. My solution is to work on a low-stakes, fun illustration project. I am not an illustrator, but having the established parameters of an illustration project allows me to just 'make' rather than justify. This often leads to much bigger original ideas. My go-to is making art based on the major arcana in the tarot. One exercise that illustrators typically get in higher-ed is to design a book cover based on a book that the student likes, this is also a good way to create a power through a block.
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Matthew’s Answer

Try looking for inspiration. Look for something that'll get that creative soul within you pumping. You can also try just writing out ideas.
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Nigel’s Answer

1. Try not to freak out or lose heart. Art block is temporary and completely normal. Things *will* get better.
2. Tidy up and clean your desk/ art area. Sounds weird but it works.
3. Forget about art for a while and go do something else. Hike. Cook. Watch a movie. Meet a friend. Read a book you would’t normally. Visit somewhere you’ve not been before.
4. Visit an art gallery. Well, duh. However, think about how you would approach the creation of what you’re looking at. Never mind what the gallery says the artist was trying to show - what do you think?
5. Loosen up. Freestyle it. No goal or end product, just let go and relax those sketching muscles.
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Kim’s Answer

Hello K,

I love your question because becoming blocked is something that affects all artists throughout their lifetime. I've struggled with it many times and know how devastating it can feel to a creative person. For me, gaining the ability and skill to reduce and remove these blocks involved understanding how and why perfectionism stopped me in my tracks.

The following two books were instrumental to my success in breaking through creative blocks. I return to them whenever I need help.
The War of Art
https://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Through-Creative-Battles/dp/1936891026/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1293XZY7ERVT4&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.ocLUSoLy2CTnJF0hZeOiM7PFMatHeR4mVpcWRvD5mopZN_DX_TpFsA68QSSYGBUneNSt6SciuI-CSt1R9LsjI5ccdQDMjcrc6jWGlM5PoRZPEz3zK6KL2eoY8elfcvjP33zhi5P7V6IPgb9RlwsBnDfk9g3EIrukgVSFeC1r1ttxjnjmL43cMXd8bzsNWClGk6WRrJBnetq3USMlEEOv_UZKmUVaV1Z2N5Gl9WWklek.g9kqbf83UDM96Fk15A8-jvN4VZKkYKwHIyv1U5WaChw&dib_tag=se&keywords=the+war+of+art&qid=1718121213&sprefix=The+war+of+%2Caps%2C180&sr=8-1

Art and Fear
https://www.amazon.com/Art-Fear-Observations-Rewards-Artmaking/dp/0961454733/ref=sr_1_1?crid=193TVVV4HPFMW&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.znZdCRLX8o5dAmBizAfPeD_dBOn71jicoXECZg7CsXz9C8tIJyR_e6JqU67rAKT8vWP3poabFTfnirENo2CNgOwsqswLR51xWw1rWYa-TKQ.3qTXwJeeMvIBWjokhpOZAiBjOCeYgscloKSS9BpsKIc&dib_tag=se&keywords=art+and+fear+book+david+bayles&qid=1718121284&sprefix=art+and+Fear%2Caps%2C113&sr=8-1

Best wishes on your journey!
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Boluwatife’s Answer

Okay, basically I will suggest you trying to identify the cause should be of helpful in handling it.
For some it might be lack of motivation and you might need to get someone's project to push you.
While for some it might be a need to a break.

So it depends on our peculiarities
I hope this helps.
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John’s Answer

Hi K!
Here's a really good article about it:
https://www.emilywassell.co.uk/watercolour-for-beginners/watercolour-basics/what-is-art-block-how-to-fix-it/#:~:text=Art%20block%20is%20a%20natural,or%20a%20lack%20of%20inspiration
Here are some of the tips:
It happens to everybody, it’s mostly about perfectionism and irrational fear.
Paint something simple
Use tutorials or classes
Create with other people
Make a big old mess!
Accept you’ll be bad at painting today
Use a little discipline too

Good luck - you'll back on the wheel in no time!
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Arwen’s Answer

Something that I like to do if I am in an art block is finding inspiration in the simple things first. Pinterest, museums, or even outside in a forest. I could even use all 3 if I want to do something a little more different. Then I just brainstorm some ideas or just create something without even thinking about it, I just do it. Sometimes it doesn't look good, and that's okay because you can never put art to waste, just start all over and do something different. Either way, sometimes you may have art block due to being overwhelmed/stressed, and that's okay too, just relax and take things slow so you don't burn yourself out.
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Pam’s Answer

It's truly astonishing to see how artists worldwide answer the question about "artistic block" with similar thoughts! This shows that we, as a creative community, share more common ground than we might think. Whether this is a cause for joy or sorrow is up to interpretation. To summarize; we all encounter creative roadblocks, and the key to overcoming them is taking a mental breather. You can gain a fresh outlook in any way that brings you comfort. Indeed, utilize all the resources at your disposal during challenging periods. Whether it's meditation, exploring new mediums, taking walks, channeling energy into sports, cooking, music - anything that sparks a unique thought process and sets you apart from your current task.

In a nutshell, take heart, as it seems we all share your struggles. Understand, however, that this phase will pass and you'll emerge stronger from it, consider it as growing pains of the artistic journey.

Warm Regards,
Pam
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yogaX’s Answer

There are common strategies used by most artist to overcome art blocks. These are

1. Take a Break: Step away from your work by giving yourself a break to refresh your mind and creativity, engaging in activities to inspire yourself and get relaxed to rearchage your energy

2. Experiment with Different Mediums ( Tools and Styles). Try out new art mediums or techniques to stimulate creativity and break through a creative block.

3. Seek Inspiration: Look for inspiration from various fields that surrounds you such as nature, art galleries, books, music, this will help you to generate new ideas.

4. Set Small Goals:Decompose or break down your creative projects into smaller, manageable tasks to build momentum to overcome a creative block.

5. Collaborate with Others: Collaborate with other artists or seek feedback from your peers to get new perspectives and ideas to inspire your work.

6. Practice Mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga to calm your mind, reduce stress, and enhance your focus and creativity.

7. Keep a Sketchbook: Carry a sketchbook with you to jot down ideas, doodles, or sketches whenever inspiration strikes. Will help you to capture ideas and overcome creative blocks.

Remember that creative blocks are a natural part of the artistic process, and it's okay to experience periods of low inspiration. By trying out different strategies and approaches, you can discover what works best for you in overcoming art blocks and fostering your creativity.
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Kmc’s Answer

An art block is like a mental wall you build yourself. There are times when I just don't feel like drawing or sketching anything. But, when I take a peek at my favorite artists' drawings and paintings, it's like a breath of fresh air that lifts my spirit. So, essentially, an art block is a moment when your mind craves a little rejuvenation to keep generating the energy for you to pursue what you're feeling blocked from.

Often, it stems from a time when you're lacking inspiration to do anything. My piece of advice? No matter what field you're in, make it a habit to seek out daily inspiration from people you admire. It's like saying, "Yes, I need to keep this passion alive!" Otherwise, it might evolve into a long-lasting condition of feeling unmotivated.
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Warren’s Answer

Go look at art on display- in person at a museum or any exhibition space. You eventually will see something you like and think you could do. Remember, though, that 90% of what you see is going to be stuff that does not spark your interest. When you find what's in the remaining 10%, you'll realize that your exploration was all worthwhile. If you draw, just take your sketchbook with you wherever you go, and if you catch yourself waiting around for anything, fill that time by drawing whatever is in front of you. It's a great way to keep your mind occupied by your artistic process, and you might even produce something worth sharing.
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