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!

balance

Finding Balance Between Raising Family and Running an Art Business

Finding balance can be tricky. I’ve been called super woman at times when it comes to being a stay at home mom, raising a family and running an art business. I call it having a system and support team in place to help with the work/life balance. Without having those systems in place will break you and your business. And you don’t have to be running your own business to benefit from having systems in place.

 

One system I have in place is my planner. I find I need to plan everything or it just doesn’t get done. Or worse, forgotten! I don’t plan my day down to the last second. But I do plan out the major tasks that need to be addressed daily or appointments for the day. I also make sure I have enough pages for brain dumps or the various lists that I create, whether it’s to do lists, or project lists. For me, I needed to create my perfect planner. And it’s just as simple as a dot grid journal.

I usually have my phone on me at all times. And because I also work from my computer and tablet, it’s important that these sync as well. So important tasks and appointments are also on my tech. Because there are times if I’m outside with the kids, I just don’t want to carry my paper planner. That’s just not practical.

Another system I have in place is my support system. Without those who support me and are willing to help me out with either watching the kids while I work on a pressing order or give me a chance to slip away to work on something creative for my own sanity.

Most important is listening to my own system. If I’m tired or can’t focus because of one reason or another, I’m not going to be very productive when it comes to art. If I’m stressed, I know I need to let go before I can settle down to work. Without my systems in place, or if I slack off and skip setting up my planner for the week, it throws me and my day off balance.

What are some ways you balance the different areas of your life? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below.

What is a Spiritual Artist? A Definition

Hello, my name is Karen and I am a Spiritual Artist. Sounds like something you would hear in a support group meeting. But what exactly is a Spiritual Artist? Is there such a thing? The answer, depends on how you think about art and spirituality. If you Google spirituality, it’s defined as being a broad idea with a lot of different perspectives. In general, spirituality is a sense of connection to something higher than ourselves, whatever name you choose to call it.spiritual

As an artist, the greatest pleasure to me is when people connect deeply with my art. Art is often the result of inspiration. Inspiration can be spiritual in nature from conception to execution. When I create a sculpture or paint and sketch, the act of creation is meditative and therapeutic to me. It grounds me on many different levels.

So who is a Spiritual Artist? My definition is an artist who creates artwork that helps connect individuals to their Divine Spirit on a higher conscious level.  No matter the medium, I consider a piece spiritual in nature when it connects an individual with their own spirituality.

And that is what I strive for when I create my art. I want my art to bridge the physical and spiritual realms. I want to help spiritual artcreate a physical connection to the Divine.

What are you thoughts? I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment below!

 

Mystic Sage Art Studio Tour- A peek into My Art Studio

On Instagram, I’m taking part in a Meet the Maker challenge created by Joanne Hawker, where we share behind the scenes peek into our world as we create. As an artist, we don’t typically let anyone into the creation process. I love this challenge because it allows our followers to experience our art first hand. And it just happens that the challenge aligns with my blog posts of late. Today I am bringing you on a studio tour of where the creativity happens.

When we were living with my parents, my studio was the corner of our very large bedroom. Okay, corner is an understatement. It was really half the closet, the corner, and one full wall with 2 cabinets and a shelf. Not to mention totes stored under the bed. It was definitely the space of a creative.

 

Primary work space

My current art studio is a bit different. I’ll be honest, A LOT different. When we first moved into our apartment I was really unsure of how I would fit all my passions into 1 little space that measured 5 foot by 4 1/2 foot. And that’s when I had to be creative with storage. My computer and business administration happens in one of 2 places. Either on my tablet on the dining room table so I can work here and there while playing with my daughter. Or on my desktop which is housed in a cabinet wardrobe that used to be my son’s closet. Most of the art making happens in the closet with storage from floor to ceiling that I had converted into my art studio. The larger pieces happen on my pretty H frame easel or on my table top easel.

Computer Wardrobe

I never used to be 100% organized. It’s actually something that I have to work at on a daily basis. But I am finding that it is actually easier for me at least, in a smaller space and everything in it’s rightful place. I’m a huge fans of labeled drawers and bins. How many times have you heard that organization is key to success? Or someone say that they have a system? I can tell you from experience. Organization in small spaces is a must! Especially when you are an artist with a small art studio.

         

It is not by far perfect.  But as art goes, it’s ever evolving and changing. I’ll tweak as I continue to grow as an artist.

I’m a sucker for creative organizational solutions for my studio. Do you have a creative organization tip for me? I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below!