Banishing the Creative Art Block

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Opinion, Tutorials | 0 comments

We’ve all been there. Those times when you’re pouring through your brain for an image, any image!! Which will suffice for a grand painting/drawing.

It can happen to any of us, and it can be thoroughly frustrating – so I wanted to write a few fun tips for things to do when the creativity block hits.

Christina Lank  artist painting in studio

Me in my studio, gosh way back in January!

1. Get Outta The House! – Sounds so simple and yet it is so effective. When things stuck and sluggish, there is nothing better than leaving the studio behind, even just for the afternoon and go some place new! You would be amazed what you can find even in your own backyard, whether it’s a museum, park, forest, historical site – there are wondrous things all around you waiting to be discovered πŸ™‚

Bring your camera and a notepad to jot down ideas, or just be one with what you are doing. Sometimes the best way to get focused, is to first become unfocused.

Taking a walk to get rid of artist block Swedish Forest

A new forest we went walking through in April πŸ™‚

2. Make an Inspiration List – We all have certain things we love more than others. Some people love painting bugs and butterflies, while others like angular lines and structural images. We all have triggers – but it’s amazing how easily they can fall out of our minds when we are searching for just the right thing to paint or draw. So make a list! It can be anything from simple words, objects, details to inspirational moments in a dream you may have had, or something cool you saw on TV! Chances are when you feel a bit skint on creativity reading through all the things you love will create a spark of imagery in you!

Inspiration list to help get rid of creative art block

An excerpt from my own Inspirational list!

3. Pinterest, Deviantart, Google Search Oh My! – The wealth of images out there can either be your helping hand, or your worst enemy. Oh the many times when I put myself into a downer when I saw how amazing everyone was at art and then accomplishing anything seemed to seem so… far off. But banish those thoughts away! These are some pretty rocking tools to help inspire you, rather than dampen you down πŸ˜€

Pinterest is a great site to use to find inspiration – you can search even by the trigger words in your list – recent searches of mine for example were girls with flower crowns, flowery swings, braided hair…and you can save them all onto different boards keeping it neat and tidy! Pinterest has even introduced a search function for your boards, so if you can’t remember where you pinned it, it is certainly not lost forever πŸ™‚

If you’d like to keep things a bit more private and simply saved onto your computer – a run through Deviantart’s expansive database of art, photography and images is sure to give you a boost out of your art block.Β  Even Google! Use the web to your advantage, make inspiration folders onto your computer and when you’re feeling a bit stuck they’ll be there to help you break through!

Christina Lank's pinterest inspiration images

My own Pinterest page!

4. Write It All Out – A lot of the time pressure and every day stress can really hamper our ability to think creatively and expand our visions. With the way the world works today it happens to everyone: school, work, kids, bills, responsibilities…it can all feel like an enormous weight and trying to think of ways to express ourselves can get muddled up with everyday routines.

You can try journaling. Sounds simple right? Whether it is in a notebook at home, or a private journal online – writing out all of the issues going onΒ  in your personal life can be a huge relief. It feels like sifting through all the junk gathering up inside your mind and helping you filter it bit by bit. The more you feel like you are in control of what’s going on around you – or at best ompletely aware – the easier it will be for you to then concentrate on your creative projects.

Journaling to help creative art block

No, those aren’t my hands. I wish!

5. Make a Schedule – Whether you have so many projects that need to get done, or you have a lot of other responsibilities away from art, making a schedule to keep things in order will help! Dedicate time for researching your inspirational images, segment times to spend marketing or on Facebook, and always always find time to make your art.

Art in itself is therapy and should be a joy – always. Though that can seem hard when you’re juggling different responsibilities, or even several contracts with galleries. Plan on some inspirational research in the morning, take that relaxing walk over lunch, do some sketching or concepting in the afternoon….the schedule will fit around you and your life.

Whether you are working towards deadlines and work on a project one tick box at a time (today the outlines, tomorrow the base colors and so on…) or you are working to fit art time into your busy schedule it can be done! You will be happy you made that time for yourself, and even happier to see the deadlines/time don’t slip away from you and you are on track!


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These are my 5 tips to getting over a creative slump. I hope you have found a few useful and if you have your own way of battling an art block be sure to leave a comment and let me know! πŸ˜€

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