7 Ways To Break Through Artist Block

Picture this-

It’s been a hectic work week. Now that it’s your last workday before your day off. You’ve been itching to sit down with your sketchbook or laptop to work on a creative idea you have had kicking around in your head all week. You’ve settled down with a drink, some music, you’ve turned your phone off, you are ready to get busy. You flip open a fresh page in your sketchbook or open up a blank document on your laptop, and nothing. You draw a complete blank.

No matter how much you try, nothing comes out. The idea you once dreamed of working on, has gone. Poof! Completely out of your head! What happened? Simple answer, artist block! Nothing kills creativity like a block. Whether you are an artist or a writer, you have dealt with that pesky block.

I’ve faced that block myself many times. Especially as an artist who has to manage my productive time around managing my business, creating new art, keeping house, cooking and raising kids.  Luckily, I have a few tasks in my vast toolbox I use to try to work through a block.

  1. Art journal. Just dump whatever is on your mind into a sketchbook or journal. Most times if I’m finding a particular block stubborn to break, I’ll scribble and just create general shapes, just to let my mind wander and keep my hand moving. Contour line drawings are great! Just stare at something straight ahead or close your eyes and just draw without lifting your hand from the page. It’s something I remember doing back in grade school as a warm up in art class. To this day I still use it from time to time to loosen my brain and blocks to get the creativity pumping again. And if you can only manage a stick figure (hey they can be art too!), just writing down any thought that comes to you helps a lot too!
  2. Walks. Fresh air. Yoga. Opening a window. If it’s nice outside, I’ll get me and the daughter out whether to the playground or just a walk to catch Pokemon (yes I have a bit of nerd in me). Moving just helps break up the stagnation that happens with blocks.
  3. http://www.duirwaigh.com One of my favorite sites to visit to just browse through the beautiful artwork. Their first mini inspirational video called Knock on the Door (you can find it here on YouTube ) merges beautiful images with music and it has released a lot of blocks in my day.
  4. Grounding. I just close my eyes, breath deep and send those blocks to the earth.
  5. Flip through my art books. Sometimes just slowly browsing through other art work helps get the creative juices flowing again.
  6. Watch a favorite movie or favorite show on Netflix. Netflix to me is an artist staple! I can watch my favorite movies or shows on my tablet or phone while sculpting or painting. And if a particular block is large, I’ll curl up on the couch and bing watch a whole season or movie series.
  7. Music. I will turn my favorite Pandora station on and just dance! Jump around the room or break out my best air guitar and jam away.

Those are just a few ways I work through blocks. What are some of your ways? I’d love to hear them, leave a comment below!

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