The dreaded art-block

The dreaded art-block

6 years

It has been over a month since I posted an update to my writing a children’s book series. The reason, I have fallen into the realm of the dreaded art-block. I have had considerable trouble creating the illustrations and found it hard to gather the motivation and inspiration. 😔

I know this art-block is not an inability to create art. It is the emotional consequence of feeling overwhelmed and highly critical of what I am producing.

I think the best way that I can tackle the art-block is to focus on the fundamental forces that are affecting me and remember the reasons why I want to create the book.

✨ Ideas on how to overcome art-block

I have created a list of intentions, which I hope will allow me to move forward and vanquish the villainess art-block! If you are in a similar situation, maybe they will be useful for you too! 💖

  1. Accept that this is going to take some time and don’t rush it, if that means I don’t meet my self-publishing February deadline for publication, that is okay! 😌
  2. Focus on one illustration at a time and don’t think about all of them at once 😂
  3. If one illustration feels overwhelming, simplify it into a focus of one detail at a time, such as; arms, legs, body, clothes, accessories or background elements 😁
  4. Be kind to myself, and know I am striving to create the best I can 🙃
  5. If I feel stressed, take a break and look at my work with fresh eyes 😗
  6. The first version of each artwork does not have to be perfect; there is time for revision and improvements 😊
  7. Don’t measure my artistic abilities to other people, we all have a style and amount of experience that we bring to our selected artforms 😍
  8. Remember that my intention in creating this book is about positivity and spreading the message that women can do so many things! 🙋🏻 🙋🏼 🙋🏽 🙋🏾 🙋🏿 💖

I am hopeful by following my suggestions I will be able to move forward and finish the illustrations. Writing this post feels like it has already shifted my perspective by allowing me to see my most significant obstacles and ways to potentially solve them. 😀

💬 Questions

  1. If you’re an artist have you ever found yourself struck with art-block?
  2. Do you have any suggestions on how to overcome art-block?

16 Responses

  1. I hate it whenever I have some sort of creative block! These are some good tips on regaining control over your creativity and getting some work done! Hope you’ll be able to continue writing your children’s book at full speed :).

  2. I’m not an artist, but I write creatively, and I’m all too familiar with writer’s block. One thing that has worked for me is to have a couple projects going. If I feel blocked with one, I work on the other.

    I hope you get over your block soon! That’s the worst.

  3. Nice tips! These I feel could apply to almost anything! Well, some. XD

    I myself tend to be too critical of what I write or draw. One reason I probably haven’t truly drawn for a long time. Guess I should try more too!

  4. Recalling from yours (and everyone else’s) comments in my Copic markers blog entry, this is actually the #1 reason why I haven’t been posting as much of my art online as I used too (that even includes my zen art and mandalas too). For the entire 2017 I did not do a single finished artwork.

    I did start doing some coloring with adult coloring books (mainly so I can get used to the feel of the new Copic markers) and started doing a few drills here and there with simple lines and shapes. I started doing drills on manga/anime style eyes in all expressive forms (open, closed, shifted eyes, etc.), for example. I also purchased a Udemy class on the very fundamentals of art before you can begin your art. It shows some warmups, how I have to remind myself that drawing is different from writing and that you use your entire arm to draw vs. using your wrist to write. I may write more about art in my tech blog one of these days, we’ll see.

    The same goes with writer’s block, but I’ve got that covered. ^^

  5. Ah, I hate having art-block! I think those are great things to keep in mind to overcome the art-block 🙂 Taking a break and looking with fresh eyes later helps a lot for me too. I like to spend some time in another hobby and then come back to art, in hopes that I feel inspired again. Doing quick sketches for practice is another nice way of taking a small break. I hope you’ll overcome your current art-block soon!

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! After completeing NaNoWriMo and managing to write 50k+ words, I’ve now gotten into a slump and I can’t seem to get out of it! Your list of intentions are really useful – will definitely being taking tips from it!

  7. Creative block indeed.
    It’s hard to overcome, but i like your suggestions.
    I like to experiment with a different medium, like try to do one of your illustrations in a medium you don’t normally use, watercolors, oil, vinyl, just doodle with pencil on a tiny piece of paper, color with scraps… try to get creative in a different way.
    I believe in you! you can do it!

  8. I love all of the things you came up with! I do SO much better when I remind myself to be patient and accept if something will happen later because I’m not forcing work or creativity. The more I stress out about it, the less productive I am!
    Working out is always my go to when I need to clear my head. Honestly, nothing helps me sort life out better than a long run or a killer circuit!
    Good luck! You got this lady!

    Susie |

  9. I write and I’ve been having awful writers block lately. I’m still having All The Ideas but the process of turning them from a list of bullet points seems to be broken. I’ve lost all confidence in my writing and I’m being such a critic of myself. My editor tells me just to write and not think, but I haven’t figured out how to do that. I’m also overwhelmed because I have so many things I WANT to write but I’m trying to get to a point where I’m writing every day – even if just one line or 100 words and here’s hoping that helps

  10. I deal with art-block quite a lot actually >.<
    I think you're taking the right steps by not being too hard on yourself. Take it easy and you will get there because when it comes, it will be fantastic. Well, because you're just fantastic!

    One of the things that help me get past my block is working when I am full of emotion. Like, the minute I'm really happy about something or if something has touched me deeply, I drop everything and pour my emotion into my work. It sounds a bit where but your feelings can be a really big source of energy sometimes.

    I hope you can manage to get through this current block and I look forward to more of your book. I'm loving what I'm seeing so far.

  11. Art block… creative block is probably a more fitting description. I’ve struggled with this too! Sometimes it’s a matter of just letting myself write or doodle. Other times the problem stems deeper (depression or maybe anxiety). I’ll also just try to read a book in a genre I may never really read or I’ll find some random off the wall movie/television show to watch. Sometimes, nothing works until I let myself work out what ever’s bothering me. 🙂

    I hope you find some release from the dreaded block!

  12. I hate it when I have any form of block – be it art block or composing block (for songwriting), especially when I have a deadline to meet. Hope your art block will be over soon!

  13. I hope your ideas are helping you! I definitely think they’re all great things to remember, though sometimes it’s so easy to forget them when spiraling in a bout of art block. Do them when you feel up to it and we’ll be here to enjoy them when you do! 🙂

    Oh, and my experience with art block? I completed my first month-long challenge last month (part of the reason I went MIA from the blog) and fell into an art block in the middle of that where I absolutely hated everything I was drawing. I was determined to stick with the challenge though, so still kept producing and putting the work out there even though I really hated some of it. And I’m glad I did. Once I pushed through it I suddenly found my work evolve into something even better that I liked (though I still hate the pieces I produced during that time). So yeah, I say keep creating but let it be content without purpose. Eventually you’ll be back on track and probably like your work even more than before! 🙂

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