How to Get Over Art Block

Posted by Kyra Chambers on

Have you ever been stuck or uninspired when trying to complete a huge project?

I know it sucks.

But sometimes being stuck increases the greatness of the artwork that’s about to flow.

And if you’re currently stuck, here are a few different ways to get through it:

1. Acknowledge That You’re Valuable and Your Skill Set is Valuable

This is super important because going through artists block can really put a damper on your confidence and work.

So it’s best to nip it in the butt with positive affirmations.

Especially before any negative thoughts settle in.

2. Find Patterns in Your Workflow

Do some self-reflecting and recognize the repetition in your work.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What do my friends say about my work?
  • And what’s the one thing that makes my art and style stand out?

Revisiting some of your old work and sketch books can definitely help in the process.

But when doing so, stay positive.

Acknowledge how much you’ve grown rather than thinking how bad your work used to be.

I’m only emphasizing positivity because artists block can bring a lot of negative emotions back.

So when going through your old work, see how you can reinvent your past techniques. And ask how can you add to your past art style?

It might surprise you what ideas pop up from looking through your old work.

3. How Often Does Artists Block Happen?

If you already know it happens more often than it should, I suggest looking up good art prompts to work from.

And Pinterest is a great place to look.

Doing prompts will give you SOMETHING to create. Even if you dislike the idea or prompt you choose. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration from something in it.

Plus you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment because you got something done.

Another thing to try if artists block frequents your mind, is to record when it happens.

Try writing on the days you feel… bleh.

Record the date, your mood, what happened in your day, etc. Almost like a diary.

The point is to get to the root of the problem.

You need to self-reflect on everything that can impact your headspace and creativity. Especially if your art is a source of income.

You can’t let nonsense get in the way of you and making these coins!

4. Your Mental State When Working is More Important Than the Actual Work

Learn when to rest, not quit.

Spending time away mentally can be just what you need to get out of a rut.

Self-care is SO important. Because if you don’t take time to care for yourself, you can’t care for your art.

Do whatever you need to do to get your mental state back on track.

Get some more sleep if you need it. Or get out of bed if you’ve been in it too long.

Go visit some loved ones if you need someone to talk to. Or spend some time by yourself if you need to recharge.

But remember, you come first.

5. Ask Friends and Family for Feedback

Sometimes hearing other people’s point-of-view on your art is needed.

  • Ask a friend or family members what’s their favorite piece of artwork you’ve created?
  • And what do they think you’re the best at?

The answers you get might surprise you.

Constructive criticism can be a good thing. And yes, it can be hard not taking the opinions of others to heart.

But it’s a muscle we all have to strengthen as artists.

Because past the bias and judgement, there’s sometimes very helpful information behind what others say about your work.

6. Create in a New Way

Try creating your project in a different medium or color palette.

Maybe use a different concept. Or approach.

Even writing down the different options and how you’re going to create a piece can be helpful.

Because then it’s all listed out in front of you. Instead of it all being half thoughts stuck inside your head.

7. Take Some Time Away From Work. Then Revisit Your Project When Refreshed and Ready

Literally turn the canvas over so you don’t see it everyday.

If you’re stuck on it, move on to a new piece.

The goal is to completely forget about it.

And this is a helpful exercise authors do when in the process of writing a book. At some point they stop writing. And sometimes take like a 6 month vacation from their work.

Even if they want to keep writing.

This ensures all the living and new experiences they’ve had away from writing, gives them a new perspective on how to continue.

And yup, this may seem like a lot to do when artist block occurs.

But only try one or two of the things I've listed until inspiration hits.

And no matter what, keep reminding yourself to stay positive. It is so necessary. Feeling stuck sometimes is natural.

And it’s a process you just have to get through as an artist. Because the last thing we need is for you to think your work sucks.

The world needs your art!

It can inspire people to start their own art journey. Or save someone else's life!

So please keep going. Keep creating.

And be patient with yourself no matter the goal you have.

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