The dreaded artist’s block. It happens to all of us – no matter what level – but there are some great ways to defeat it! Please welcome some of the most well-known artists in the industry as they share their secrets on how to overcome a creative block and stay inspired.
#1) Think about good things
It helps to focus on the good things that have happened and keep track of them so you can look back and be inspired.
Discover this “Journaling the Good Things” tutorial by Roben-Marie Smith
#2) Discover a ritual for your soul
Every morning I awaken at around 5 a.m. I make myself a French press of coffee while the early light glimmers through my windows. This time alone is vital for my soul’s well-being ~ my daily rituals give me space for my creative spirit to lean into awakenings. The house is cathedral quiet and uncommonly beautiful ~ a lovely way to begin the day. The gift of space and solitude. Then…I gather up my three crazy dogs and hike up the mountain, return back home and make myself a massive bowl of Irish oatmeal. (The breakfast of poets!)
~ Madelyn Mulvaney, contributing writer for Somerset Life
#3) Focus on just the essentials
For me the tip is to “focus” on one part of the project that can be completed in two or three small steps in just a minute. For example, when I was designing a new line of dies for Sizzix, I got completely overwhelmed with the possibilities. So, I collected myself, picked one design idea, created a few drawings, added my favorite sentiment, chose the colors, and then I was done. The completion of this one design concept then led me to the second, then third, and so on until pretty soon I had enough designs for two or three lines.
I believe that artist block comes from too much inspiration, too many ideas and endless possibilities. I don’t believe that very many of us ever have a moment when we cannot think of one more thing to create!
~ Jo Packham, Where Women Cook
#4) Venture outside
When I have an artist block, I make myself a cup of French Press coffee, add nice heavy cream and head outside to either walk around my farm and soak up/breathe deep the garden places or I’ll venture to the baby goat yard and sit and watch them play.
~ Lylah Ledner, Where Women Create Business
#5) Spring clean and browse books
There are several ways I beat artist block. The first (and easiest) is to clean my studio. Inevitably, during the cleaning process I will come across something that inspires me to make art. If that fails, I browse through art books and I am back to creating before I know it.
~ Mary Beth Shaw, author of “Flavor for Mixed Media”
#6) Show up and paint anyways
My approach to defeating my block is a good balance of showing up in my studio and painting anyways as well as taking time away to spend time walking my two poodles. They continue to remind me to stay in the present moment. Once I am able to still my mind, magic finds its way to me.
~ Mindy Lacefield, published in Art Journaling
#7) Be gentle with yourself
The block likes to come and go at will, which can be so frustrating! It’s nice to have some tips and tricks in your bag to help beat it. I am gentle with myself when the block comes. Instead of forcing something out that doesn’t want to be seen just yet, I try and enjoy a little time outside of the studio. It’s amazing what a day of nurturing your creative spirit can do for creativity… Often, it’s just enough to rekindle that spark again. I love long walks in the fresh air to clear my mind. Another favorite is breaking out my camera to help focus in on the goodness that surrounds.
~ Mary Wangerin, published in Artful Blogging Winter 2014
#8) Re-organize your workspace
I like to re-organize my workspace. I find that I’m often inspired as I sort through my projects and products and unearth things that have been buried. When my space is clean it’s also inviting to begin something new!
~ Pam Carriker, columnist for Art Journaling, and contributing artist for Somerset Studio
#9) Doodle for fun
The way to beat artist block is to jump in and do something creative – other than what you are working on – and for me that is often doodling. Make something because it’s fun. Draw or splat paint for the fun of it.
~ Vanessa Valencia, published in Somerset Life
#10) Rest and refresh
I encounter artist block when I am burnt out and tired, so that means it’s time to rest, rest, rest! I take lots of naps, watch movies, curl up with a good book or listen to some inspiring music. The hardest part is knowing the creativity will come back, it just needs time. I always panic and worry “what if this time I never create again!”, but I always do.
~ Claudine Hellmuth
Thank you to all of the artists who shared their secrets for conquering the dreaded artist’s block!
How do you beat your artist’s block? Comment below to share your creative cure.
With Somerset Place Love,
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