Overcoming an Artblock

Overcoming an Artblock

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As someone who recently struggled with a major artblock, I feel obliged to share my journey how I got out of it.
I am not an expert, but I did a lot of work to overcome this massive block and I found a few things that helped (me in particular) and maybe this will help you as well.

What are these Artblocks?
Artblocks are those hellish moments in an artitsts life were nothing will work out for you. Every line is horrible, every attempt at painting looks awful and you feel like wasting your time whilst have the urge to create. But nothing good seems to come out of your mind. Then it gets worse and you question wether you should continue or if you should just quit. Even worse, comparing yourself to others while on this block. It will make you feel even more hopeless.

Whilst being on this block, I questioned my work as an artist and in which direction I should move on. It all started after I finished a few pictures for my zodiac collection. While the essential feeling of my work was right, the look couldn’t be more off.

I hated the way I drew. I hated the result. I wasn’t happy. And if your work isn’t bringing you joy, why continue? You get what I am saying. The struggle was there.

I started to feel unhappy and I didnt know where to go or what to do. This was even more worse, because my time to draw was already limited as a mom of two little ones. And it made me feel worse to spent that time doing shitty work I didn’t like and in which I saw no future.

It took two solid month to figure out what I needed to do and who I wanted to be.

Here is what I did:

  1. trying different techniques
  2. trying different mediums
  3. researching art I admired
  4. looking and noticing what I specifically liked about the art I was drawn to
  5. thinking deeply about what I wanted to say and do within my work as an artist and stick to your guts
  6. creating a list of what my general goals were/are
  7. reading a lot of books about finding artistic voice
  8. trying even more different combinations and ruling out what I hated
  9. keep on going
  10. thinking a lot and not giving up – being persistant

So I basically started everything over I ever did. And this was quite though because it felt like I had spent so much time working on all of those projects that are now so opposite of what I want to do now. I am at square one of my carrer again and it is scary. But it is also a chance to finally become the artist I always wanted to be. And I know the work I did prior might be all over the place stylewise but I at least did my fair share of trying a lot before settling.

After this Artblock, I finally feel more like myself and I think I am closer to my goals than ever.
So if you find yourself having an artblock or don’t know where to turn to in your journey as an artist, I highly recommend listening to your inner voice and maybe try a few of the steps I have written above.

Hang in there – All artists have these blocks and they are necessary to grow.

Book recommendations on this topic:

Lisa Congdon – Find your artistic voice
Excellent book an information the help you find your voice as an artist. Many, many tips and stories to learn from. I wish, I had this book during artschool!

David Bayles – Art and Fear
This is generally a good read. I can’t count the nods I have made whilst reading. I couldn’t agree with anything more. Faboulus book and a must read as an artist.

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