What to Do When You Have Artist’s Block
It’s no secret that as an artist, you will have times that you experience artist’s block. It’s never a good feeling. It’s extremely frustrating, at least for me it is. Feeling like you want to create but you’re stuck, frozen, and without ideas just sucks.
Here are some ways you can break out of artist’s block and get back to your creativity. These are things that I do myself to get inspired and start creating again.
Visit a Friend
Friendship is a true wonder of life. You find a person and you connect with them, share your joys, hopes, fears, and trials with them while they share their life with you. When you feel stuck in an uninspiring slump, it’s time to meet up with a friend. Go for lunch, go for coffee, and just talk. It doesn’t even have to be about art, but it can be. I’ve had wonderful creative conversations with friends that have inspired me out of artist’s block. However, I’ve also felt inspired by just exchanging stories about life with a good friend.
Go for A Walk
Take a break from the noise of the world. As an artist sometimes all of that noise can be a creativity killer. If you’re stressed this is especially true. It’s hard to make art when you are worried and exhausted. I know walking is physical activity, and some of you are probably thinking “Wait, won’t that make you tired?”. The truth is that it can be a freeing and energizing activity. You’ll feel tired if you walk a 5k though, I’m just talking about a short walk.
Don’t listen to music, don’t talk on the phone or text, and just enjoy the quiet sounds of nature. It can be hard to be alone with your own thoughts, but sometimes that is the best thing to do if you need to sort things out. If you don’t want to be alone, bring someone with you. Having another person (or a dog, if you have one) there to share it with is much better than sharing it with your phone!
Nature is beautiful and unpredictable. That’s a perfect environment for inspiration.
Don’t Be Perfect
Sometimes with art we try too hard. We try to be perfect, but art isn’t a perfect process. Remember to have fun. You started creating because you had a passion for it, don’t let that passion get away from you because you don’t think your as good as that artist you saw on Instagram, or because you haven’t reached where you want to be. You are on a journey. You will always be learning and growing. Remember to be comfortable where you are and take stock of all you’ve accomplished so far.
Try to create something without perfecting it. Enjoy the act of creating, even if you don’t finish anything.
When was the last time you tried something new with your art? If you remember the last time you did something different, wasn’t it fun?
This kind of goes along with the previous tip. Don’t be perfect, just draw, paint, sculpt, or what ever it is you do with no preconceptions and no harsh judgement of yourself or your art. Don’t avoid trying something new because it’s scary, some of the best things come from us experimenting with something that is unfamiliar to us.
Artist’s block can be a good opportunity to just play around with art. If you’re really stuck and not sure what to even play around with, you can look for inspiration in several places. Watch some videos on YouTube, read articles (like mine, shameless plug, I know!), read a book, or look at some art that you love so much it gives you butterflies. Then just play around and practice! You don’t have to have an end goal in mind, you don’t even have to finish anything, this is just to reconnect you with the joy you have when you’re making art.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Mistakes can be super frustrating, but they are part of the process. You learn from your mistakes in life and in art. Learn to accept them for what they are, a chance to try again.
There’s a famous quote by Henry Ford, “Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. There is nothing wrong with failure, and not all mistakes are failure. There have been times where something I though was a mistake actually made my art better.