Aimee Hill is Guest Author on Nancy Reyner’s blog, writing this article on Painter’s Block.
Painter’s block affects everyone, whether an amateur or a professional. It’s one of the ups and downs of creativity and a perfectly normal phase that can stifle your inspiration and grind your productivity. If you are suffering from a creative block, it does not mean you are losing your painting ability, but rather a temporary slump. These mental barriers can be potentially frustrating for painters, especially when trying to harness creativity. If you are looking for ways to restore and reignite your imagination, here are a few tips to help you.
As an artist, it’s easy to get stuck and feel overwhelmed by your own imagination. In most cases, it is fear of not achieving that makes you think or feel as if you’ve lost inspiration. When you are a working artist, sometimes you have to force yourself to create art even when you are not in your best mental state. Forcing yourself to be creative can go haywire, and it’s always a prudent idea to sit back, breathe in and out, and find inspiration.
Have a notebook and pen
One of the oldest techniques used by the world’s best artists is taking notes whenever an idea comes into their minds. A pen and a paper can be a lifesaver when trying to get ideas and helps prevent painter’s block. It allows you to record your idea soon as it strikes when you’re out of your art workshop and save it before you are distracted and use it later.
Distract yourself and take a walk
Sometimes the best way to handle a painter’s block is to take a break and do something else. A human mind is constantly being fed too many things at once, which can lead to a creative block. Getting out of your headspace is not only good for your body but your mental health. If you have been painting for hours on end, it’s time to take a break and find something else to do. A nature walk is a perfect activity to unwind and release unimportant thoughts to add helpful ones. Experience change of scenery, and who knows, you may just get your biggest breakthrough out there.
Find new inspirations
If you are doing everything the same old way, it could be the sole reason you are getting painter’s block. Artistic inspiration is everywhere, and you can use your slump to come up with new discoveries. Get out of your art workshop and visit museums and local galleries, browse art journals and books, and make several stop overs by the art store, and you will get plenty of inspirations to create new and unique art. Look at videos, read a book for dramatic descriptions, and review old photographs. All these can provide you with bits of inspiration to get your creativity leveling up. Don’t forget to carry your sketchbook; it can be particularly essential in recording or sketching up what your mind comes up with at that particular moment.
Surround yourself with friends who love art
This may seem pretty logical or obvious. Most artists tend to isolate themselves from the community, and all they do is paint, paint and paint. If you can’t find friends who are passionate about arts, you can always find real artists like yourself and share ideas. Remember that you are not alone as an artist; there are many other artists out there who share your passion. Such people can help you know when to get into serious business and when to put your brushes down and do something else. Breaks help you reflect and find inspiration.
Always keep this at the back of your mind–creativity is an inspiration for amateurs, and the best ideas come from that process. Your work is a product of your mind and can never resemble someone else’s; that’s what we refer to as creativity. Therefore, just because you can’t think of anything to paint doesn’t mean that the piece will not come out good. The creative struggle is very real, and the biggest mistake you can make is to allow your painter’s block to get to you. Have fun painting, don’t look at it as a job but a hobby, and when stuck, maybe it’s best to slow down.
Painter’s block can strike at any stage in your artwork. Instead of getting stuck and spending countless hours figuring things out to get the work done, take a break, and distract yourself with other activities. Work when you get excited about a project, or immediately you get a sketch-worthy idea. This will help you avoid a painter’s block and stay creative throughout.
Photo at top: Halayalex www.freepik.com
About the Author
Aimee Hill is a freelance writer and part of the content team at The Long Reach. Aimee has worked in the arts industry since graduating from university. When not writing about the many possibilities you can do with art, Aimee can be found researching new travel destinations.