top of page

Dealing with artist block... learning to play again

Updated: Mar 31

AI generated image of Artist with head on blank canvas struggling with artist's block

It is time to start back creating again, you know it but you just can’t. You have everything you need but, when you sit down, you are blank like that blank canvas or page staring back at you. Frustrating, isn’t it? Whatever happened to that creative flow you once had?

Have no fear because this is the most common challenge with many creatives, and this is why I wanted to offer some suggestions as an artist to another artist. In this blog, I share ideas on the concept of play and why it is essential as an artist.

Here are some insightful and practical things you can do:

Go outside and play I literally mean to go outside and play. We spend most of our lives indoors, going to school, being in an office or room in a building for work and we get busy with all the life things. In the whirlwind of life, we lose connection to the things we once loved and forget about them. We do not include it in our life schedule anymore because we get busy. Take the time to reconnect to those things you once loved. Make the time and take the effort, because that is where you would find your inspiration again. Do gardening again, go to the beach, take that dance class, take photos, collect shells…whatever you do, move and keep moving. Pursue the things you have always loved and play with those ideas that develop.

It is the simplest things in life that can make the world of difference. You do not need the most expensive art materials or tools and you do not need to have everything in perfect order to get started. The popular Nike quotation says, “Just do it.” Play with the things you love and keep your mind open to new ideas and inspiration from books, videos and going to exhibitions. Connecting with other creatives and being part of collaborations are also beneficial.

Create bad art and be unashamed about it.

Collection of colourful art on a table

The greatest in the world did not wake up one day and was the best at what they did, so neither would you! Embrace your creative journey and create without expectations. It does not matter what it looks like because you need the space and time to play with your tools and materials to feel them out again. Splash paint, tear paper, create random brush strokes, create layers, make hand prints, throw some glitter, paint with your fingers! It does not matter. Give yourself a chance to be free creatively without any pressure. Play with your materials and create doodles, create patterns, draw the stack of books in front of you or abstract your cat! Have a book where when you feel stuck, you can be free in that space to create anything without judgement. Now hold on, don’t go throwing away your art now. Remember that Bob Ross said, ‘There are no mistakes, only happy accidents!” Keep your happy accidents to show your progress, recreate it into something else or even incorporate it in another work. Besides, these seemingly insignificant doodles would be worth millions when you get famous, right? Don’t go throwing away millions!

Two rattan-backed chairs on a wooden porch looking out to forested landscape

Lighten up!

Don’t be Oscar from Sesame Street! Throughout art history, Art has been considered a very academic subject, a discipline, and in the Renaissance times, it was seen as a sacred expression of the soul. As a creative, you know that it is very difficult to create work when you are frustrated, stressed and tired. You create better with a clear mind, when you are calmer and not stressed. There is a greater flow to your brush strokes and your creations. My last advice to you is to lighten up and not take every single thing so seriously. Remember you need the space to play. If something does not meet your creative and artistic expectations, that is okay. Take a break, return to work tomorrow and look at it with another perspective. Creative visions change, so be open to change in your works of art. Change the composition, revisit the lighting and colors, add more subjects and keep going.

I know these tips will encourage and motivate your creative spirit. These are great ways to get back into creating, especially if you have not created in a while or if you are experiencing artist block. My dear creatives, as you continue on your artistic journey, whether it is a hobby, a career or therapy, I urge you to always play. Play with your ideas and materials, go outside, create bad art and lighten up! Do not take everything in life too seriously.

As you continue to overcome the artist block, remember that you need to put in the work. You need to make the time and you need to make the effort, because no one is going to do it for you. Do not sit on your talent. Share it with the world because the world needs more color and more art. Don’t you agree? So go forth and create good art, bad art, great art and masterpieces.

7 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page