Artist's Block


Thank you ToP for that lovely source of inspiration and TRUTH. So in my case I would call it artist’s block, but we are all talking about the same thing.  This thing called artists block. You’re stuck. You’re staring at a blank canvas, which is one of the most beautiful and intimidating things in my personal opinion. The possibilities and hopes for what this blank canvas could turn into are endless and the ideas go rushing through the forefront of your mind at too fast of a pace. The color schemes, the iconography, the compositions. But for some reason you cannot get that first layer down, the sketch finished, the basic plan out from your brain to your hand to the canvas. You are just stuck.  You know what you want, but you do not know how to render it correctly.

For me it has always been the pressure of time that messes with my mind and, more importantly, my confidence in completing a piece. I thought it was just the deadlines that were set while I was in pursuit of my BFA.  I believed that as soon as I graduated and had more time for my art and myself that this concept of artist’s block would affect me less and less. Well, it has actually been the complete opposite. Since graduating almost 3 months ago I have yet to complete a single large-scale oil painting.  The one thing that defines me right now as an artist are my oil paintings with their significant use of paint, light and dark, and palette knifing techniques and I have not been able to complete a single one. While in school I was capable of completely numerous in this time period. So I guess I was wrong. But, strangely enough, I still feel pressured by the clock.  By the comments that I NEED to be painting right now, that I NEED to complete more paintings so I can sell them in order to make money.  That I NEED to keep my website updated. Well, I believe I do not NEED to do any of these things as long as I am still actively being creative, as long as I don’t give up on my craft.  I am doing both of these things.  I am reading and writing more for myself than I have in a long time.  I am planning out ideas for future painting series.  I am going on long drives and taking in the moment and scenery.  I am taking pictures and recognizing what inspires me.  I am taking note of what I need to be creative and figuring out how to make sure these necessities are present in my life, and how they can remain present in the future.  My life is still full of creativity.  And for right now, that is good enough for me. 


Tips to keep that Creative Flow:

1. LISTEN TO MUSIC. All sorts and genres, not just your favorites (although playing your favorites on replay is never a bad idea) Broaden your horizons in the music area of your life, you never know what you'll find, hopefully a new favorite band or jam to dance around to.

2. WRITE AND SCRIBBLE. Delegate one journal or notebook in your life (lined or not... I prefer not) that is always within reach for you to jot down any ideas, quotes, thoughts, events in your life, venting sessions, or just scribbles and doodles. Later look back through, maybe there's something there to start your next great creation.

3. ADVENTURE. Go for long drives, by yourself and with friends.  Visit your favorite places and discover spots you've never been to before. Be aware of your surroundings, where in your environment do you feel most at ease? For me it's by the ocean, but maybe for you its amongst the trees, in the busy buzz of a city, or chilling in a bookstore or cafe. 

Some examples of what you would find in my journal are below....