how to deal with art block

How to deal with art block

That horrible feeling of nothing. And then frustration. Art block is a tough moment to get through. Let me share with you my tips to overcome it and let the inspiration explode! As a surface pattern designer and illustrator it often happens that I come up with nothing when thinking of what I should draw. Or I end up absolutely loathing what I created no matter how many times I try. Know that feeling? Here are a few ways how to deal with art block.

Wait it out

Sometimes it is a good idea to take a break and clear your head. Do other things that interest you, change your focus. However, I would not advise to wait until the inspiration strikes – it might be a very long wait. I personally take a few days (up to a week) off – I don’t draw, I don’t create anything. I read, watch movies, bake, take long walks, energize myself. But I do plan to come back to draw after those few days. Change of perspective is a good way to approach your work with fresh eyes.

Youtube videos and Instagram

There are so many amazing artists out there and we’ve got a unique opportunity to see how they work! There are so many videos with behind the scenes content, speedpaints and process videos. Personally I also love watching other people’s studio vlogs, they give me a real kick to keep on working!

Make a moodboard

My two personal favorites to browse in order to create a moodboard are Pinterest and Tumblr. Browse any topic that interests you, make a board on Pinterest. It’s honestly one of my favorite ways how to deal with art block. For Tumblr I usually search for topic + aesthetic (eg. fantasy aesthetic, dark academia aesthetic). You will surely finds loads of inspiration. Use a moodboard as reference for your new drawing, for a color palette or just to draw ideas from. It’s a great starting point to let your imagination run free.

Draw something completely different that you usually do

A great way to get our creative juices flowing is to try something new. Draw something different than you usually do or try a different art style! Learn a new drawing technique and try it out. For learning I especially recommend browsing Youtube, Skillshare and joining Patreons of your favorite artists.

Participate in DTIYS challenge

Another way how to deal with art block is to take part in a DTIYS! DTIYS stands for Draw This In Your Style and it’s my favorite challenge on Instagram. It’s so much fun to participate and look at what interpretations other artists did. Especially at the beginning you also get to learn quite a lot from these.

If you don’t know where to look for fun DTIYS challenges, try one of these accounts, they feature new challenges every day:

Push through and draw anyway

Even if you will create three pieces that you hate maybe the fourth one will be the one you love? Just start doodling random things – maybe your next great piece will come out of it?

Art block can be so frustrating to get through, especially not knowing if we will ever come out on the other side. Have you tried any of those tips? Sometimes it’s all about pushing through and drawing anyway. Other times we have to get a bit more creative to deal with it – try a different style, medium, participate in a challenge. Browse Pinterest and YouTube for ideas and new knowledge. Try all these how to deal with art block methods and see what works for you!

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