10 Ways To Fight Artist’s Block

Old photographs can be a great way to combat artist’s block. Just look at the array of shapes!

Similar to writer’s block, artist’s block can result in headaches, chewed nails, and tears. To roughly sum it up, it sucks. So how do people combat this horrific beast? I don’t think there is one way that works for everyone, but here are a few things worth trying.

1. If you’re completely blocked, step away from the canvas, paper, clay etc. Sometimes you just need a breather.

2. If your only stuck on a particular project, temporarily move on to another one.

3. Find another creative activity to engage in. Often doing something else that stimulates your creativity can help get the ideas flowing. For a list of some ideas, see last weeks post.

4. Talk it out, especially if it’s a specific problem. This method can be used by either talking to yourself or to someone else. Having to put an abstract idea in to words can help make it feel more real, which in return makes it easier to work with.

5. Get in touch with nature. Have you ever noticed how the trees take on abstract shapes? How the clouds form cute little animals? How the wind hums a little song?

6. Browse the internet. There is a ton of stuff online that might help get your creativity in to gear. Here are some of my favorite sites:

Etsy: Thousands of artisans put their work for sale on Etsy. It’s perfect for getting some new ideas.

Craft Gawker: A photo gallery of handmade crafts and art. This site is specifically designed to get people inspired.

Pinterest: Pictures and videos of almost everything and anything that you can pin to your personal board.

StumbleUpon: Okay, I have to warn you, this site is addicting! StumbleUpon is a great way to discover new and interesting web pages, photos and videos across the Web.

7. Flip through a magazine. Whether we like to admit it or not, advertising is an art form. Look at the composition of the ads, the color palettes and while you’re at it,  read a few articles. You never know where inspiration is lurking.

8. Look through your photo albums. Not only can you study old photos for their shapes and colors, but they will also bring up some emotions. Whether those emotions are happy or sad, they might just be the match that lights your creativity on fire.

9. Look through your previous art projects. Sometimes you’re all the inspiration you need! I have a desktop folder filled with pictures of my various art projects.  Below are some of my favorite pieces.

10. ?  I’ll leave this one up to you. How do you combat artist’s block?


2 thoughts on “10 Ways To Fight Artist’s Block

  1. ….And if all else fails you can use your hammer-on-head emoticon…
    Seriously, I find that giving myself permission to forge ahead even if the work won’t be good helps a lot. Might work for an artist also.

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