Updated: Feb 14, 2022
Ok, so you are an artist. Well, of course, you are. Everyone is. I mean you don’t have to
have any fancy art materials. Trust me, even a small scribble on a paper is art. If you are not a full-time artist then there might be other things to tend to. You might be a dancer, a cook, a scientist, a designer, and everything else or a writer like me! But do you experience the “that time” at work? You know what I am talking about. Yes! We all go through a creative block. It is one of the saddest parts of any job. What is it anyway? How do you identify your creative block? How should you get out of it?
Yes, I know your mind is bubbling with all these questions. So today, in this blog, we will see all about creative block. And we will narrow it down to an artist’s creative block. So let’s get to the basics.
WHAT IS A CREATIVE BLOCK?
Well, I haven’t come across any dictionary definition as such. So in my words, a creative
block is anything that will not let you do what you love the most - art in this case. You will feel dejected, in vain and realize everything’s going in the wrong direction. You hardly feel like grabbing that sketchbook that’s lying right next to your hand or the pencil that’s right next to your bed. It’s dramatic, and you feel like there’s no spotlight on you. Yes! I’ve been that, seen that.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Well, there’s no said answer to that. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours to even a few days. But in any given time if it exceeds more than that, then it’s not a good sign. Ok, I don’t want to sound like a doctor diagnosing your problem, but then that’s the truth. If you find your creative block not leaving you for more than a few days, then you need to sit back and think. Reconsider your thoughts and bring back yourself to channelize your mind.
So mine generally lasts for a couple of days and I won’t touch anything related to it. For me, to escape from this is to get diverted. Today I have some tried and tested tips that I put to use when I see myself diving towards the black hole!
TIPS TO TACKLE CREATIVE BLOCK
Divert yourself -
When you art something, the focus is essential to bring out the creativity
from within. When you are not focused, the end result might only leave you upset. Well,
when you seem unfocused, try diverting yourself. When I don’t get enough creativity to write, I switch to art for I consider art to be the home for my lost mind. But there are times when I get creative block while working on my artwork too! When you are in the same boat, try switching to something else that helps you divert your mind from it. You can try music or some movie, or a book perhaps? Give it a try.
Do nothing -
Yes, you read it right. Do nothing. When you are stuck, do nothing. Sit back
and stare blankly at your work for some time. This helps me a lot. This way, you are resting your brain by restricting it to think any more in-depth on how to go about your work in progress piece. Admire what you’ve done so far and appreciate your progress. This will help you clear your mind cloud or any second thoughts that you might have about your work.
Step out to get a new perspective -
When your creativity is used up too much, at times, it demands a break. When you feel you are unable to go any further, step out. Take a stroll on the terrace or a garden if you have and breathe in the fresh air. You need a fresh perspective to see things from a new angle. For this, there’s no better help than nature.
Nature is full of inspiration and everything that you might want to admire. Stare at the
greens and the colours of sunset or sunrise. They give you a fresh mind to restart your work.
Sit down and reason -
Most times a creative block occurs when your mind is preoccupied with some other thought. Times like this, you need to reason to get out of it. Find a calm place, sit cross-legged, and take deep breaths. Communicate with your brain to understand the preoccupied thought. Ask questions like ‘what is bothering me?’ ‘Is this about something or someone?’ ‘Do I have a solution to this problem?’. This will help you quickly get out of your wandering thoughts. Another effective way is to journal. Write down your thoughts.
Positive or negative, write as if no one’s watching you. Putting your heart out on paper can make you feel much lighter.
Take a nap -
Short naps are considered the most effective solution to energize your brain.
When you lack enough sleep, your mind tends to wander. Staying up the whole night to
finish your artwork can sometimes hamper your hard work. So, take enough break, rest, and pump up your energy levels. If you have deadlines, plan your work early and always keep a buffer time than chasing up in the eleventh hour. This will not curb your work quality.
Talk to others -
With technology budding everywhere, we often forget how important it is to
talk to real humans. Talking to someone can always help you find better insights and outlook on things. Ever tried sitting down with your parents or grandparents and ask them about how they spent their childhood? I do it quite often. Trust me, it is so relaxing. You never know, you may also end up getting some inspiration for your new art piece. Or at least, ring up that long lost no-touch friend and strike a conversation. This will help you shift your mind from your current project.
Get Inspired -
Open up your browser and lookup for the latest work of various artists or if
you have a personal favourite, then check out about them. Get inspired, read about them,
dig for historical art styles and learn new techniques. Do a lite reading, and this can help you get back on track. When I get stuck, I open my Instagram and shoot up the latest digital artwork. I just sit back and admire the colour palette or the style of drawing.
Yes. Sometimes you can get annoyed with the surroundings. Do you have your clothes lying around and leftover snack wrappers or some spilt juice on your desk? Well, these can unknowingly bother your mind. Another kind of mess can be from paints and brushes lying around. This too can stop you from thinking beyond for your vision is restricted to seeing the same set of colours that you are currently using for your project and that ink coloured jug of water and extremely wet wipe can disturb your flow of work.
So the best solution is to de-clutter your space. Turn on some music, take a break from your work and start cleaning your room. This helps tremendously. I add a little more to this. I go one step ahead and do a simple decoration to my desk to give me that vibe to get back to my tasks. Adding a new rough sketch to your wall can also help you regain the lost interest.
Creative block happens to all. You are not alone in this. For me, my creative block seems to be more like a daily soap drama where I imagine myself screaming my heart out. But later sit calmly for some time and resume my work.
I really don’t like getting to that zone for it breaks my vibe and so I to make sure I don’t get
that far, I take frequent breaks and do other fun stuff to let my brain switch between tasks to regain energy!