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Submitted on
September 21, 2011
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How To Deal With ART BLOCKS

Journal Entry: Wed Sep 21, 2011, 6:30 AM
Ok, if you guys are still wondering, this post may help you. Its just a way I go on about it.

First of all, what is an art block? Just like writer's block, an artist gets an art block. Its a state where you either; can't think of anything to draw, your drawings turn out crap, you're just not getting your drawings right, or just uninspired.

So how do I deal with it?

The very first thing you MUST do is to actually STOP DRAWING. This is your brain telling you to take a break.
If you force yourself out of an art block, it ALWAYS shows. It will look rushed or unthought of.

Second, is try and do something else NOT related to art/creativity... Go for a run, watch TV, read a book, play games, see friends etc.

Third; try and listen to music. Calm your brain and get rid of your thought process. Music is a way of simulation, sometimes you will get inspiration from it.
If you have an idea of what sort of thing you're after but just cant get it right in the end, this is where I think music helps. Especially if you have a theme in your head. Usually listening to the right genre of music that goes with the theme you're creating enhances your imagination and gets you in the right mood.

As an artist, I dont actually listen to music whilst I am working, it's a distraction majority of the time (this has been tested). But I only do it when I am completely walled.

Try going out and just look around for things to do. For me, normally going to town, and reading things inspire me. seeing something always sparks an idea in your head.
The common things that trigger my inspiration is something so minute,either a word, or a small piece of object.

When it comes to actually creating something, imagine what you want the end piece to look like. Without direction, it will fall apart.
I read a book with a great quote to success; "Begin with the end in mind".

But yeah, that's my two cents. I know the majority of the community here are artist, and somewhat relate. Hope it helps guys.
I deal with it most of the time, because my career is my hobby, and it could get a bit strainuous.

Good luck!

Skin by sedART (modified by Roggles)
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:iconmiyu-dreamer:
Miyu-dreamer Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
when i get art block i read 1/2 prince by Yu Wo
its a great story and give me inspiration

manga: [link]

online novel: [link]
Reply
:iconkwesix:
KwesiX Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
thanks that was an eye opener. it makes so much sense y didn't i think of that :facepalm:
Reply
:iconkeyblademaster128:
keyblademaster128 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011
Great advice!
Reply
:iconfishgul69:
fishgul69 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hell, my block is thinking that my art is leading to nothing. *wail*
Reply
:iconblackstar2661:
BlackStar2661 Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Student General Artist
I have a killer art block I want so badly to break... I'm defintitely keeping this in mind. Thank you.
Reply
:iconkuromu:
Kuromu Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011   Digital Artist
I always start off listening to music while I sketch. Half way through the line art process, I often snap out of a daze to realise that I turned to music off without realising at some point.
Reply
:iconpeculiar4:
peculiar4 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the advice! I hate art blocks... makes me feel like i've lost all art related talent, my moment of weakness...
Reply
:iconxlycoris:
xLycoris Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011
Thanks for the advice :D
I find what helps me is to stop creating art for a while then in time, I look for new styles and sources of inspiration. Once had an artist block that lasted months :I
Reply
:icontumas-muscat:
Tumas-Muscat Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for sharing. There's some brilliant advice there! :)
Reply
:iconkittykillsall:
KittyKillsAll Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I think this is very helpful advice. Would you mind if I copied it (and gave you credit of course) to my journal for my watchers?
Reply
:iconthe-rich-hobo:
THe-RICH-HOBo Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Student General Artist
If I could use the "favorite" button on journals, I would've pressed it for this.
Reply
:icondanialeksandra:
DaniAleksandra Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011
I noticed that whenever I finish a piece, I need to take two days off to re-stimulate my brain. I often watch a movie or just role-play, which often helps give me more ideas of things I'd like to draw. That or it just helps keep my creativity flowing so the spark doesn't completely die out. It's always two days though. Two days to rest my brain o.o
Reply
:iconmandelak:
mandelak Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Student Filmographer
Yeah that is the most legit way of doing things. Instead of music I usually just go watch some cartoons or TV shows that I missed that completely lets my mind chill for a bit. I find that music is way too distracting as well. I have even stopped listening to it as much as I used to lol. but like you said it works sometimes depending on what it is.

Boxing bag is another good tool. you release all your frustrations and workout and feel so relaxed afterwards. Big ups for this post man
Reply
:icongirlngreen7:
girlngreen7 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great advice, thank you very much! :)
Reply
:iconninjapooh808:
ninjapooh808 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011
this is really helpful...i get art blocks like mad around the beginning of the school year when all the work begins to pile on. It makes sense that i should be studying and not drawing but concentration is very hard when you obviously want to be doing something else!

I just tell people "my muse is off on vacation in hawaii right now" ^_^
Reply
:iconako-si-boi:
ako-si-boi Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks a bunch dude :D
Reply
:iconibl00d:
ibl00d Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
thank u :heart:, if u dont mind would u plz tell me the name of that book?
coz i wanna read it ^^.
and thank u <3.
Reply
:iconapple-kitty:
apple-kitty Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011   Traditional Artist
I would like to favourite this journal if it was possible =/
Reply
:iconlumiclair:
Lumiclair Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Student General Artist
Definitely! D: -Looks for fav button frantically-
Reply
:iconyaboyrampz:
YaBoyRampz Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011
I read a book with a great quote to success; "Begin with the end in mind".

7 habits?

And yeah, I find I work better and faster in silence; music just makes my mind wander off.
Reply
:iconroggles:
Roggles Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
yeah thats the book! I forgot what it was called. haha
Reply
:iconhanatenshihimeko:
HanaTenshiHimeko Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011
Thanks for the advice. =D
Reply
:iconosanagokoro:
Osanagokoro Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011
What do do with Art Blocs? Go on Minecraft and BUILD THINGS with them until they're all gone. P:
Reply
:iconshadowedfatexp:
ShadowedFateXP Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011
thank you so much, i'll keep that in mind next time im in a block
Reply
:iconrerrede:
RErrede Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Student Digital Artist
That is a fantastic way to look at it. @__@ <3 Thanks for the advice. ^^
Reply
:icondroopysama:
DroopySama Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011
Wow,thanks for sharing this! I have suffered from a Art Block in nearly four months,but I will definitely try your tips.Thanks again! :D :hug:
Reply
:iconchrishirou:
chrishirou Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I was like, "ART BLOOOCK! what do i do nooow?!" 2 minutes ago,
.......then i saw this post. Really great post. Big help man! Salamatss :D
Reply
:icongunouflage:
GUNOUFLAGE Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011
That's true...

Lately I have been having art blocks. I mean, I DO want to draw, sometimes I have an image in my head, but sometimes I'm not even in the mood to draw it. :/ It makes me disappointed, really. I mean, even if I have the time to draw it, I just don't feel like it. But my mind wants me to draw. My body resists.

The right time will come, I suppose ~

Thanks for the tip! ...I... actually want to draw something right now, but for now I'll go kill time by checking out some tutorials. xD; So I can draw better.
Reply
:iconsilverava:
silverava Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011
I actually feel like there are many different art blocks with different reasonings and a different solution to each one. I agree that it helps to stop drawing for some art blocks (caused by fatigue or similar), but for others, such as one I am in now, they require a different approach.

I am simply unable to draw because I am too rigid. I have too many expectations for myself, feeling that my drawings must always be better than my last. I have not finished a whole drawing within the past month because of this. The solution to this art block is not to take a break, nor is it to draw more, but to draw with the mindset that not every drawing must be perfect or better than the last. I need to loosen up and work myself out of this art block by simply drawing without expectations.

Don't get me wrong though. I agree that some art blocks require a break, some fresh air and time to think and clear out all the bad energy, but not all. One with an art block must analyze and ask him or herself, why? What is the reason or cause of their art block? Fatigue, expectation, distraction, or an outside source unrelated to art? How can they overcome it? Take a break, find an inspiration, draw more or draw loosely? Maybe all of the above?

I just hope what I share here helps those with art block overcome it.

Apologies if this is an inappropriate response to your journal. Just wanted to share my two cents~
Reply
:iconosy057:
osy057 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Student
great advice. although when I draw, I wanna be listening to something. like music or stand-up comedy. silence distracts me too much. lol
Reply
:iconroggles:
Roggles Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
haha I dunno, for me I need absolute silence when I work. I always get in trance when I am painting especially.
Reply
:icontomatobisque:
TomatoBisque Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :D
Reply
:iconmuzikmastamaku:
muzikmastamaku Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
kala ko naartblock kana master e, hehe well yeah i agree to that, music while working is the best way to motivate yourself. :salute:
Reply
:iconneko-sapphire:
Neko-Sapphire Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011
I will keep this in mind!
Reply
:iconinukistar:
InukiStar Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011
Thanks for sharing. I have a MAJOR writing block and I've been drawing instead and it's been months since I wrote something. Nothing is good. :(

I'll try to take a break from creating all together to see if it helps. :)
Reply
:iconkaoyux:
Kaoyux Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I must say that what you mean about music is SO true. You can imagine how many pictures music inspired me
Reply
:icone-park:
E-park Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for sharing! :iconhappyblueplz:
Reply
:iconmewball:
Mewball Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have problems taking breaks. I always feel like I'm just wasting time.
Reply
:iconhydraxus:
hydraxus Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011
wish i could favorite this journal T:(
Reply
:iconx-chuchunyanyayuyu-x:
x-ChuChuNyaNyaYuYu-x Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I will SURELY keep this in mind. :D It may help me. ^^

Thank you so much for sharing this. :)

Btw, just asking but, how is your job going?
Reply
:iconroggles:
Roggles Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
not to bad, clients are really vague with what they want most of the time though haha
Reply
:iconsir-drago:
Sir-Drago Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011
Thanks for the adviceeee :iconcryforeverplz:
Reply
:iconwhitekitsune94:
WhiteKitsune94 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks this was really hepful!! I've been stuck in one for months
Reply
:iconredwingedhummingbird:
RedWingedHummingBird Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I can agree with pretty much everything youve written down here, Ive noticed that since joining the Marines with all the non-creative things we do in a day my creative juices have been flowing more and my art is improving due to it, and that my art-blocks tend to last a much shorter period of time then they use to
Reply
:icondreamangel-ren:
DreamAngel-Ren Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
OMG! Thank you for writing this entry! This will really help me if I ever encounter the artist block again. :la:
Reply
:iconnananki:
Nananki Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Student General Artist
It's funny. Cause I can't really draw without music! :)
I can, but music just really makes me relax and not think to much. I do tend to over think things sometimes and I guess the music will then act as an inspiration (if it's the right sort for the right mood in and out of the drawing) and also a distraction from my thoughts!

But otherwise. Really good advice.
And I do know cause many of them I do myself when in art-blocky-situations :3
Reply
:iconmonicamarinho:
MonicaMarinho Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you, I'm actually in a art block right now. Open pshotoshop and that's all, then stay looking at the WIP and nothing comes out. :/
Reply
:icontherhi:
Therhi Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for great advice! Today my professor was actually talking about the whole music thing. I found it to be true from experience! Instrumentals are the only types of music that I can listen to if I am painting. (Usually some classical music though) I will definitely keep this in mind. :)
Reply
:iconthedude-in-navyblue:
TheDude-In-NavyBlue Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Yep, very true! I'll play video games, listen to music, or exercise. I'll also look at drawings on DA! Looking at awesome art work is a great inspiration for me! :D
Reply
:iconhero-zeros:
Hero-zeros Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow! nice! this seems to help a lot! thanks!
Reply
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