January 2019 Arty Update: Art Block

When I wake up in the morning the first thing I think about is what I’m going to create. It’s my driving force, it’s not even a question of IF the question is WHAT. What medium, what substrate, what subject matter. It is as second nature to me as breathing. So, what happens when the desire is there, but something is blocking the ability to create…anything at all? Art block, the same as writers block, but art 🌝. So let’s dive into the effects of art block (as experienced by me), and ways to overcome (experienced by me, or all around good advice… in my opinion).

Cause: ART ENVY- comparing my work to others that I admire, and feeling my work will never be as good.

Effects: A nagging feeling or voice inside that is saying “don’t bother”, this is not a good voice to contend with as I stare at a blank canvas. Instead of feeling that the sky is the limit… I feel that my ability is the limit. I don’t like limitations…and my creativity shuts down.

How I Deal: Take a break from viewing other people’s art! 100% transparency…my reactions to an artwork that I love is:

1. Taking it all in as a whole piece, the colors, the subject, the admiration for the artist, letting the artist know that their artwork is πŸ’—πŸ€©πŸ˜. This initial reaction is 100% fangirling to the max and 100% genuine.

2. Determining how the artwork was accomplished. What was the medium used, the substrate, how…how…how!

3. Comparing. IF I’m in a good mindset.. I can do this objectively. I can see the things about this artwork that I love, and figure out how to incorporate into my own work. Learning.

On the flip side, if I’m in the art block headspace, this process is very different. I’m not learning, I’m criticizing myself and pushing myself further away from creating anything.

I take a break, from viewing others work AND from posting my own…. no outside influence 🧐.

Cause: EXPECTATIONS-Creating something with the end result being the most important. Instances where I experience this are basically ANYTIME I am creating something someone has requested, or when I have a deadline.

Effects- Art is my escape from expectations, so when I’m faced with expectations I escape from art. I literally choose anything over art.. wash the dishes, clean the toilet, caulk the tub 🀣. Art BLOCKED.

How I Deal- Fortunately I have a career outside of art, so I have the luxury to take requests, while explaining that I will work on the piece when inspiration hits. If you don’t have this wiggle room, my advice is just do it. Sit down, start with a doodle, relax, and remind yourself that you are an artist, and someone loves your work so much they want a piece of it, of you…. how amazing is that??!! I find when I stop avoiding, arty magic happens! EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Another source of art block that I experience is when I question what my end game is. We are all taught that we need goals and a plan to reach our goals. Obviously my dream is to be able to create artwork that is in demand, to have a collector base that gets excited for a new work to be released, and it gets sold!! 😍. I don’t even wish for lots of money, just a fair price for my time really.

That is a dream, real life isn’t that pretty. It is hard work to get to that dream, and the problem with my dream is that I have no real control on whether it comes into fruition. I might as well say my dream is to win the lottery, I can play, but that is the extent of what I can do. Makes it feel kind of hopeless really.

How I am dealing with “why bother syndrome”…. SIMPLE….I’m not making any big arty career goals. I am reminding myself that I am still a baby artist, I’m still learning the fundamentals. I’m an elementary school student trying to apply for high school graduation. I’m slowing it down and letting it unfold naturally πŸ’—. I will bother because it’s in my soul, but I will do it for me… and I will continue to dream my little dream, maybe dream it into existence πŸ’«β˜„οΈπŸŒ•. Law of Attraction, do your thing!!

Thank you for reading and as always here’s something for your eyes πŸ’—

Charcoal β€œBeast” that needs his β€œBeauty”
Charcoal… I’ve never drawn boobs before… no reference was used, these came from my imagination and my husband thought they were a stellar representation πŸ˜‰
Charcoal.. another first time for me.. this perspective. Also no reference used, somehow residing in my visual vocabulary βœ…

Digital mock up for nursery mural
I actually started the mural before mocking it up…. still a work in progress

Original image from Google Images of Cape Charles, Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay. #creditforphoto Trying to figure out my new markers….


#art #artblock #artblog