How to overcome the artist’s block. You can be a painter, a sculptor, a draftsman, a cartoonist, a writer, an illustrator, a writer, or a songwriter. Whatever kind of artist you are, sooner or later it will come. Sooner or later, small or large, the artist block is always around the corner. It is a relatively common experience in the art world, a decidedly negative passage that can be discouraging and frightening.
How can the artist’s block be overcome?
Today we will see it together, and we will understand how to overcome this obstacle and how to turn it into a moment of growth.
What is the artist’s block?
First of all, let’s try to understand what artist block is. It must say that this is not the same experience for everyone: some experience the creative block in the middle of their novel, those who from one day to the next no longer find the inspiration for a new painting, and so on. If in a circle of artists you wanted to dedicate an evening to the block of the artist and the narration of their personal experiences, they would certainly feel good – and yes, even ugly. The ending, however, would be practically always cheerful.
It must emphasize that the artist’s block is overcome: in most cases – indeed, almost always – it is an entirely momentary block, allowing the artist to continue along his path, continuing to cultivate their art. However, we are talking about a small minority – the creative block must be interpreted as a particular signal, as the need for a change in landscape drawing.
The case of Marchel Duchamp is very famous, who in the 1920s gave life to his best known and most discussed work, namely “The Bride stripped naked by her Bachelors, too,” known above all as “The big glass”: from that moment in then, the artist entered a period of crisis, which led him to abandon the world of art to take refuge in the game of chess (although it must say that not a few famous chess players raise this activity to a valid form of art). In Duchamp’s case, the blockade of the artist will last twenty years, until 1946, the year in which he began work on the environmental installation “Étant donnés,” which will keep him occupied until his death.
However, Duchamp’s is a unique case, which concerns an artist who is absolutely out of the ordinary – for whom, among other things, everything was potentially art, as long as it was rightly valued. The same creative block, in a nutshell, could be elevated to an art form!
10 ways to overcome artist block
What you find below is a list of 10 ways to overcome artist block. As I repeated in the introduction, each artist experiences their block uniquely and differently. Therefore, read all the points on this list and try to apply those that seem most agreeable to you and suited to your character and your artistic personality.
Maybe it’s a daily block, and all you need to do is take a nice walk or vacation. On the other hand, perhaps you need to change your technique. After years of oil painting, switch to colored pencils. Maybe a mix of these two things, and then switch to pencils after a nice walk. But let’s not waste any more time and move on to the 10 tips for those who suffer from artist block.
The first essential point is to understand that you do not have a dramatic or catastrophic experience. It is not a bitter twist of fate, nor a catastrophe, much less a curse: all artists have to deal – sometimes with a specific frequency – with small and large creative blocks.
Knowing that this is a common experience should therefore help you not to be too frightened when you stand in front of a blank canvas – or a sheet, a wall, and so on – without finding the right inspiration to start. Don’t panic, don’t throw your paintbrushes into the fire, and don’t tear up your drawing pads – take a deep breath, keep calm and sketch a smile.
The creative block is practically necessary for every artist, and overcoming it will not be difficult! Indeed, take this experience as an “educational path.” You can always learn something, both in good times and in bad ones.
Don’t sit in a corner waiting for inspiration
You are not waiting for the courier with your oil paint package. Sitting in a corner with your hands staring into space, or even worse, your all-white canvas, won’t help you in any way. Usually, inspiration comes pretty much on its own, okay, but that’s exactly what artist blocking means: your reservoir of creativity seems exhausted. So, simplifying as much as possible, you don’t have to wait for inspiration. Instead, you have to find it! It is therefore essential that you do something, anything, to find ideas. You might even try a game of chess, like Duchamp!
Remember that the more you let yourself be contaminated by experiences, images, influences, and ideas, the more your brain will be able to re-elaborate them according to your sensitivity and provide you with new creative lymph.
A pile of tubes of acrylic paint scattered on the desk, a dirty palette at the foot of the easel, some brushes abandoned a little here and a little there, some balled-up sketches thrown rigorously to the sides of the basket, without poking it even once. Of course, many artists have perfectly tidy and clean studios. But, in other cases, chaos reigns: an excellent way to start overcoming the artist’s block is to bring order, both physically and mentally.
We are somewhat linked to the myth of the crazy, messy artist who lives a life in constant conflict between himself and his art. And often, his atelier reflects this personality of his. But in reality, this is not always the case. Simply the precise and orderly artists are often less “cinematic” and therefore less in the common imagination.