Overcoming Artist's Block

Creators get that awful block as much as writers do and it literally feels like The Night's Watch have built a humongous wall in front of your eyes and you can't for the life of you seem to do anything creative. Even surrounding yourself with your materials can do nothing to solve it and since illustrating is now my job, I've had to think of ways to overcome this awful blank space feeling to try and prevent wasting valuable time.

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1. Change Of Scenery
This is probably one of the first things we all try and it's also one of those I really need to gain some confidence in. The thought of going to a coffee shop to brainstorm or sketch terrifies me but I also can't think of anywhere better, besides the park or a beautiful forest. One of these days I will take myself to explore more hidden gem coffee shops and have the balls to go alone, but for now I make do by transporting myself downstairs, to the kitchen table, the garden if it's nice out, to my Mum's, anywhere that isn't my office space. It can get dull and claustrophobic so get out more and refresh your mind.

2. Start A Proper Scrapbook
By 'proper' I mean if you're anything like me, you tend to keep even scrapbooks looking quite tidy and professional. I've started a new one recently that's more of a journal, but I scribble in it, stick things in, photos, food wrappers, any interesting textures...the list goes on. I also like to record any nice paints or colours I've used, so I'll add a little splodge to sort of document it in there, if I've mixed new colours and so on. Not only is this great fun, but it's a way to do a bit of what I like to call 'care free creating'. Just let loose, don't mind too much about what you're placing where, just collect things that inspire you or make you curious.

3. Seriously, Leave It
Sometimes I can't bear walking away from something like a blank piece of paper because it almost feels like defeat, especially when house work is staring you in the face saying 'come on, you know you'd much rather get stuck into me instead...'. Filth. But honestly after a good session of hovering or washing up, knowing my house is a bit tidier and cleaner seems to do something to my brain that makes me think right, I now have a much clearer head and I'm ready to tackle that sheet of paper once more. It doesn't even have to be housework; reorganise your wardrobe, declutter, think of something cool you could do to your creative space, get lost down a Pinterest rabbit hole, just step away from the actual artwork and come back a bit later.

4. Update Your Portfolio or Build One!
Portfolios are great things to have and mine hasn't been updated in quite some time. You can find project folders pretty cheap but you could definitely spend a few hours designing yourself a fresh looking portfolio, researching layouts and working out what kind of styles you'd like to be in their to demonstrate what you can do. 

5. Start A New Project
This could be anything and I can think of two things I need to do at some point that would be perfect for one of these block moments, however I can be a little bit spontaneous and just go for it at any given moment. A few weeks back I'd had enough of my downstairs bathroom so I gutted it, redecorated and filmed the entire thing all by myself over a couple of days. I need to do the kitchen at some point and the only thing stopping me is I don't yet have any paint or wallpaper, but it's on my list of things to do, along with paint an outside furniture piece that's just been given to us by James' parents. 

cute illustrated gifts pastel elixir

These are just a few of the things I try to apply to a crappy period of artist's block and I hope in some way they help you too. It's taught me to prioritise as well so if I have been putting things like housework off, I know that a bout of artist's block is the perfect time to get it out of the way. Let me know if you have any tips to share!

Thanks for reading,

1 comment

  1. booo! hate a no camera policy, damnit! im so nosey...

    the few snaps you did manage to get are goooorgeous though! so many beautiful, quirky items there, so perfect for gifts.

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com


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