5 Remedies to Combat Artist’s Block

What some people think about me is that I face a piece of paper drawing something or painting on a canvass a beautiful figure or scenery most of the time. Unfortunately, as of this moment, I can’t even figure out what should I draw. Perhaps, I don’t even have the time to hold a pencil. Am I not feeling inspired or am I not having the ‘extra’ time to do my supposed ‘hobby’?

Or this is a phenomenon known as an ‘artist’s block’!? Yes, I think this is the best way to describe this feeling of having a temporary loss of interest or artistic ideas. Though I have full-time work as a government employee, I think this is not the real reason. I was also working before in Davao City, but I still got sufficient time to do some art back then.

This creative struggle is real. I still have pending commissioned portraits as of this moment. This is embarrassing. Thank God, I was still able to accomplish some commissioned portraits for the past few months. But before you totally abandon your artistic sense, let me help you to overcome the nemesis of every artist. Check out the following steps to help you deal with an artist’s block.

  1. Never compel yourself in a wrong time.

“There is a virtue in work and there is a virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither” – Alan Cohen

Sometimes, we’re so determined to break our procrastination and we force ourselves to work. Sadly, we find ourselves crumpling a piece of paper, after drawing something while we’re not in the mood. Let me tell you something. I write art blogs too and the last time I wrote one was last February. Ahhh.. this sounds frustrating. But I’m still working one article now before the year ends (this is not even a good one haha).

Here’s the point. Even professional illustrators, painters, designers, and even musicians and writers have to take a break from what they do every day. It’s about getting a new set of inspirations. I admit that I failed to keep drawing and painting for the past weeks, but I still encourage myself to read art articles, view artworks online and watch videos pertaining to the arts. Eventually, I know that I still have the spirit to create artworks.

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  1. Make a move to ignite your creativity.

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” – Edward de Bono

Inspiration would not come in front of your or would push you when you need it. You have to look for it!

The last time I started writing calligraphy was when I discovered people in the social media learning how to write ‘baybayin’, an ancient pre-colonial Philippine script. People even promote it. That was so inspiring that I also started to make my own writings by using ‘baybayin’. Even a simple social media post can help us to start again making arts.

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  1. It’s time to go out of your room

Honestly, I’m not the person who loves to hang out with other people or the one who loves being outdoors. I prefer to stay at home. Despite that, I managed to travel for some time with my coworkers and spend the holidays with them. Then I earned a new set of experience. And they say experience is our greatest mentor.

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Even walking around your neighborhood can help. Going for a mountain hiking or going to a beach is a cool way to refresh yourself. Meeting new people. Experience helps us to create our most personal artworks. When I was working as an ESL teacher, I used to draw portraits of some Japanese and Korean students who were about to go home to their country. It’s like drawing the faces of these people from other nations that I’ve met. Those are not just portraits of some of my students by they are pieces of memories.

  1. Get rid of your mess and start cleaning

Cleaning your space is like cleaning your mind. Do you find your desk cluttered with all the unnecessary stuff? Stretch your hands and clean it. Keep your brushes intact, your sketchpad clean or your paints safe in their containers.

Having a cleaner environment helps you to find a new place to start. In fact, seeing a blank paper is the most enticing space to start an artwork.

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  1. Make your biggest art frustration.

Everyone wants to be the best that they could be. When I find myself gazing awesome artworks or just their photos, I can’t help myself but envy. I would like to tell myself to practice to the nth level and be one of those well-renowned artists.

It’s quite frustrating when our outcomes fail to meet our expectations. But when you think you have to give up, then you’re missing the point. It’s about the inspiration we get from other great artists. Sad to say we got this attitude of staying in our comfort zone. We tend to choose to be stagnant. That’s the worst part. There’s always an opportunity to improve as an artist.

Do you think your drawings are not good enough with graphite and charcoal pencil? You can venture into another medium. In fact, when I was trying to work on watercolors, I ended up painting using coffee! It was a fantastic discovery. You just have to explore and try things.

Now, if you still find it hard to start your artwork, try another way to condition your mind or make use of your time with other worthwhile activities.

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