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From Stuck to Inspired: Overcoming Artist’s Block

As an artist who has been painting for over 20 years, I know a thing or two about the struggles of ‘artist block’ in fact it’s more common than you might think.

Artist block isn’t just painters, it could be writers, musicians and anyone in the creative field and it might even strike when you least expect it.

Common signs of artist block might include:

  • Getting ready to paint but instead, you sit and stare at your canvas
  • You lack the motivation to get your paints out
  • You feel uninspired
  • You don’t know where to start

Artist block can be extremely frustrating, especially if you have a busy life and finally get some ‘painting time’ but can’t seem to get started.

I thought it might be useful to put together some ways that might help overcome artists’ block.

How to Overcome Artist’s Block

  1. Change Your Environment: Sometimes, a change of scenery can spark inspiration. This could be as simple as rearranging your workspace or as adventurous as taking a trip to a new location. I sometimes just enjoy a walk to clear my head.
  2. Set Small, Achievable Goals: Breaking down your work into smaller tasks can make it less daunting and help build momentum.
  3. Experiment with New Techniques: Trying out new methods or mediums can invigorate your creativity and lead to unexpected discoveries.
  4. Seek Inspiration: Look to other artists, nature, or even different creative fields for fresh ideas. Art galleries, books, movies, and music can all be sources of inspiration. I’m always looking through books at artists’ work and find this really useful.
  5. Connect with Other Artists: Sharing your struggles and successes with a community can provide support, feedback, and new perspectives.
  6. Take Care of Your Mental Health: Stress, anxiety, and depression can all contribute to artist’s block. Prioritizing self-care and seeking professional help if needed is crucial.
  7. Allow Yourself to Make ‘Bad’ Art: Removing the pressure of perfection can free you to explore and create without fear of judgment.
  8. Just load your Brush: Don’t think about creating a ‘finished piece’ just load your brush and start experimenting
  9. Work with Alternative Colours: Try colours you perhaps wouldn’t normally work with. You may even be surprised at the results
  10. Paint Something Different: If you normally paint portraits try painting a landscape instead, it may even give you ideas to use in your normal subjects.
  11. Take a Class: Learn something new by taking an art class.

Just know that having artist’s block is perfectly normal and trust me it doesn’t last forever, it’s all part of the creative journey and every creative will experience it at some point.

Perhaps you’ve had artist’s block in the past? Perhaps you could share your experience and how you overcame it in the comments below.

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