Hello! Are you guys in good health? Towards the middle of the year, you must have gone through a lot of things, whether it’s work projects, school lessons, or leisure activities with your family. Soon we will reach the peak of activity this year. If you’re okay, that’s good. I’m glad to hear that, keep the spirit up! But if you feel stuck, don’t be sad. Bad things will soon pass if we continue to move forward. If you’re having an art block, maybe I have a way to get rid of it. Because I have experienced it too and I have been looking for every way to get rid of art blocks. Those were difficult times for me because drawing should be a fun activity. But art block makes me lose the sense of fun itself. It feels like eating your favorite food but it tastes bland.
Here are some things you can try to feel the excitement of making art again. There is no demand to do everything in order. Maybe after trying one of them you can feel the fun again.
1. Take a Rest
Yes, rest is very important. It could be that you are tired physically and mentally. It never hurts to stop working for a while and rest. Get enough sleep and do what you love. If you need, take a break from social media too. Don’t worry, sometimes other people don’t even realize that you’ve been missing from social media for a while because there are so many other posts to keep them busy. Lately, I rarely use social media because rather than the positive things I get, I feel that social media often distracts my mind and discourages me.
Without realizing it, I always compare my work with others. And I feel down because I realize that my abilities are far less than theirs. Even though I know they must also have been in my position. And to produce such fantastic work, they must have devoted a lot of time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with social media, maybe it’s time for you to take a break.
2. Choose Your Favorite Sport and Move Your Body
What does exercise have to do with making art? Oh of course there is a connection. As the saying goes, in a healthy body there is a healthy mind. Your mind will feel fresher when blood flows smoothly in your body. Exercising also increases the levels of endorphins in the body, just like when we laugh. This hormone can reduce pain and trigger feelings of pleasure. I also did not really like exercising. But after trying to exercise regularly, I feel my body getting fresher and many ideas are running in my head. And what’s more, I feel less tired.
If you are new to exercise, I suggest choosing a sport that you enjoy. I don’t really like working out outdoors or going to the gym, so I bought a yoga mat and installed a bodyweight stretching app on my smartphone. At first, it is difficult to move your body if you haven’t exercised for a long time, but over time you will get used to it. Of course, if you also eat healthy food it will be even better. Because food will become part of our body. Healthy food will form a healthy body too.
3. Do Something Fun
Have fun! Maybe you are busy with your work or schoolwork. And inevitably sacrifice your free time to finish it. But all that can be adjusted if you can set a schedule and set aside a little time to do what you like. Whether it’s watching your favorite movie, reading a book, cooking, or playing.
Humans live to seek happiness. If you’re not happy when you’re making money or doing something, it means that something needs to change. I’m not saying to quit your job or quit school. Maybe it’s your time management that needs to be changed. By setting aside free time to do your favorite hobbies, you will feel compelled to complete your work and assignments.
4. Meet Close Friends, Family or Make New Acquaintances
Sometimes stopping to draw and spending time with friends and family can also lift your spirits. Socializing can be exhausting for some people. Therefore, meet people you find fun spending time with if you feel more comfortable with people you have known for a long time. Hanging out with close people can make you feel relaxed. But there’s nothing wrong with getting acquainted with new people, such as joining an artist community. It could be that the person has the same interests as you and can give advice on how to overcome the problems you are facing.
5. Try New Things
People say routine kills creativity. Although I don’t think they meant to ‘kill’ it completely. But indeed routine can make us bored because we are working in the creative field. The creative world is like a fashion trend. As time passes, the current trend will be changing with a new trend. There will be new styles, techniques, or mediums that you can try. You don’t need to immediately change your art style. Just try slowly what interests you and learn about it. Is it suitable for you or not. Even painters like Van Gogh had studied the famous Japanese paintings and wood carvings of the time. He tried to make a replica of the art with his own signature style. You can see an example of his work on the Van Gogh Museum website.
6. Finish One by One
If you experience art block because you feel overwhelmed, you may be doing too many things at once. It’s true that doing multiple projects at the same time seems not too hard. But when you switch from one project to another, there is at least a buffer time where your brain tries to adjust to the change. Like when we work and suddenly receive messages in email or chat, at least there is a time lag of about 1 minute after replying to get back to work. That also happens when we try to multi-tasking. As a result, we do not work optimally and get tired quickly. Limit the projects that need to be done to a maximum of 3 projects. In addition, if there is a job that you can hand over to someone else, don’t hesitate to do it. It’s better if you can complete them one by one so you can focus on that project first.
7. Out of Ideas? Try This
Now there are lots of drawing prompts that you can follow to challenge and hone your skills. Or just looking to find a theme to draw when you don’t have any ideas. For example, a whole month prompt that you can join every October named Inktober, which was started by Jake Parker. On Instagram, there are also lots of prompts made by several artist communities. You just choose which one you want to try. There is also an application called What to Draw. You can use this application to find random drawing themes. From this theme, you can create objects or characters that you like or even your original characters. If you feel that the poses of a character are monotonous, maybe pose reference sites like Adorkastock and Line of Action will inspire you.
8. Change to Another Project
Working on long projects requires a lot of concentration and persistence. At one point there will be times when we feel tired of doing the same theme and the end result is not yet visible. If the timeline for the project is flexible, you can switch to working on short projects that can be completed faster than long projects. After the short project is complete, you can return to working on the long project. Maybe you’ll become aware of some things that can be improvised from what you have done.
9. Visit Libraries, Bookstores, and Museums
Drawing requires us to stay in one place. Being in the same place can make you bored and bored. Some people get around this by going to a cafe or other workplace to change the atmosphere. If that also feels boring to you, try visiting a library, bookstore, or museum near where you live. There you can find references that you may not be able to find online. These three places are my favorite places to find new things.
10. Start with a Doodle or a Splash of Paint on the Canvas
Facing a white canvas sometimes makes us hesitate to draw on it. There are artists who work around this by replacing the basic color of the canvas with another color. Another way you can scribble on it first. Or you can sprinkle it with paint. I once tried splashing paint on a white canvas and then creating an image based on the pattern seen in the splatter. It’s the same as when we look at clouds and wonder what they look like. This may be able to push the creativity out of you.
Those are 10 ways to get rid of art block that I’ve tried. There are a few things you need to remember. It’s okay if you feel sad. It’s fine if you decided to take a break. It’s okay if you haven’t found the path you want to take. Everyone’s path is not the same. If your path feels longer than the path of others, remember that you will learn more from those failures and mistakes.
I hope this article can help you to overcome your art block.
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