Everyone involved in illustration, design or other creative endeavors has at some point experienced artist's block. It is an emotional state where you feel like you have lost all of your inspiration. You may feel a little bit lethargic and blank. Or sometimes your drawings are just turning bad whatever you do, even if just a week ago they were terrific. What you should have in mind is that this is just a temporary phase and not let it get to you. Even though we can't magically remove it right away, we can definitely get rid of artist's block faster with these tips and tricks.
1. The Magic of Cleaning and Organizing
I'm sure everyone has experienced this one. You finally decide to clean and organize your work desk or studio, spend hours putting everything in place and suddenly when you are finished, you get a burst of inspiration. It happened to me probably every time I organized my office. Somehow the process of going through all your art supplies can give you ideas for a new technique or color combinations. Looking at your old sketches makes you see how much progress you made and suddenly you feel proud and willing to practice more. Plus having your space clean and organized makes it much easier to work and the effortless flow of the space can help you create again.
2. Have Some Fun in the Sun
Being in the sun makes us happier right away. As you have probably read many times, vitamin D lifts our serotonin levels and this improves our mood. So if you are feeling a little bit blue and stuck, go outside for a walk and enjoy the warmth and magic of the sun. I find this one really helpful when feeling a bit sad or without energy. The best thing would be if you can combine some outdoor fun like playing sports with your friends or having a nice picnic and enjoying the sun at the same time. This will instantly improve your mood and help the creative juices get flowing.
3. Do Something That Scares You
Doing something that usually scares you can be a wonderful motivation and source of power. If you are scared of talking to new people, do it anyway and you will feel amazing. If heights scare you, climb on top of a tree or a big hill and stand there for a minute, blending with your fear. Like that saying -"Feel the fear and do it anyway". You will feel amazingly empowered and like you can achieve anything you wish. This will motivate you to work on new things and get out of your comfort zone in order to grow.
4. Power of Physical Activity
Just 10 min of physical activity can make you feel so much better right away. Choose an activity you enjoy, it doesn't have to be going to a gym or any kind of fitness. It can be something simple like riding a bike or just plain fats paced walking. When you move your circulation improves, energy levels raise and you feel much better no matter what is going on. Being happy and energized translates into your work quickly and the tasks in front of you will be finished much faster.
5. Read Fiction
Novels are powerful sources of inspiration. Not only you can find great motives and ideas for your future work but it also helps you relax and unwind. There are many lists on the internet where you can find some wonderful books in every genre. Or just go visit your local library and enjoy the environment while you browse. This is one of my favorite ways to get rid of artist's block and after I'm finished with a novel, I always feel great and ready for action.
6. Visit an Inspirational Place
If you have a chance, you can go for a short trip where you can relax and take a break from regular daily life. Visiting unknown places can do wonders for our creativity. If you are not able to go away for a day or two, find a monument in your city or a local attraction and visit pretending to be a tourist. Not only it's fun but you can also learn some new things about the place you live in.
7. Try a Different Technique
Sometimes it can be great to switch drawing media. If you are usually drawing with markers, try using some other technique like watercolors. It may not be in your comfort zone, but it can definitely help you have some fun and get back on track. Who knows, maybe you even discover you love the new media even more and start bursting with creativity.
8. Go Through Your Old Drawings
Seeing your old work can help overcome hard times faster and with more ease. When you see all the progress you made over time, it will definitely mean something and help you see the point of moving forward. Sometimes we just forget to stop and analyze to remind ourselves how far we have come. And this is much needed if you want to improve and have the motivation to continue with your work. Keep your older work organized and close by so you can refer to it anytime you need a little nudge.
9. Spend a Day in Nature
A day spent outside enjoying the sun and all that nature has to offer is never a bad idea. You can go visit a park nearby, have a nice little picnic, go for a ride in the nature or even go on a weekend camping trip. I'm sure you will feel much better and have lots of energy to put into your work.
10. Do Something Nice for Someone
Doing something nice for other people will result in feeling good about your self, more confidence and general contentedness. This will help you get back to feeling positive and transferring that joy into art and creativity.
Hopefully some of these ideas will help you if you feel a little bit stuck and unmotivated. Please share some of your favorite ways to overcome writer's block in the comments bellow.
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