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3 Surprising Solutions to Dissolve the Art-block Wall


Getting inspired; the first step

All artists have experienced art-block. There is nothing worse than staring at a blank sheet in the sketchpad with an even more blank mind. But this does not mean that we've run out of those creative juices, sometimes we just need help getting the brain working again.

The first step to getting inspired is to take a break. It isn't always a good idea to force yourself to draw, that could lead to you never wanting to do art again.

This break could be going outside for a walk or reading your favorite book. Eventually you will find something.

My favorite way to take a break is scrolling through social media (although social media has a tendency to suck you in and never let go) but, I like seeing things that other artists have done and I draw it in my style, or experiment with a different style.

If that doesn't quite float your creative boat you could take a nature walk and draw some trees, or a mystical animal combination of a squirrel and a bird that only lives in the topmost branches of the tallest tree.

If that doesn't work

If taking a break just isn't working, don't take a longer one. Then you might not want to come back. Instead, you could take a trip back to middle school, when a teacher told you what was expected and you drew. Obviously, we can't all time travel back to middle school but we can re-experience it a bit with the internet.

On the internet, Instagram especially, many artists will post prompts on their accounts. These are so helpful to the stuck, artistic brain. There are things like, "create a character based on your favorite fruit" or "turn this dragon in to a person, what would they look like?"

My favorite way to do this is my Wreck This Journal. The journal tells me to do things like "Drip colors all over this page" and it is intended to look messy and "wrecked" however, I like to bend the rules a bit and make things look more artistic and intentional with maybe a character that has rainbow drips and splatters all over them, holding spray paint, and have graffiti on a wall next to them.

You've taken a break and drawn a blueberry person; what now?

If you are still not feeling this flow there is more you can do. If both of these things do not work, I like to draw something completely random, something I have never drawn before.

For example, I like to draw people so people are usually what I draw. However, through this art-block process I discovered I like to draw landscapes too. Now, when I can't draw any more faces, I switch to rolling mountains and cascading waterfalls.

This works best if you draw the new thing from memory, without a reference. We all know what a bird looks like but if you try to draw a bird when you usually create outfits in your sketchpad, some things might be a bit wonky.

After you draw your new thing without a reference, pull up a picture and have a little laugh. Now that you know the actual proportions and coloration, draw it again but don't be too judgmental of your original drawing.

In summary

In conclusion, your next art-block should be filled with solutions and things to try like:

  • Taking a short break (nature walk, book, internet scrolling)
  • Finding a prompt to draw (this could also be a tutorial you follow)
  • Or drawing something you don't draw normally (don't beat yourself up about this one)

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