Monday, December 2, 2013

7 Ways to Stop an Artist Block

Very often when struck by a loss of inspiration, artists will begin to over think and over analyze. The following strategies may help you to reconnect to the more creative side of your brain.


Seven quick exercises to...
break through an artist block,
silence the inner critic,
tap into your right brain,
find inspiration.

Randomly select a photograph on your smart phone or hard drive and choose one aspect (could be color, composition, subject, emotion, etc). Use that to create a quick sketch of a potential work.

Without censoring yourself, free associate a series of words that either pop into your head or that describe your mood in that moment. Then use those words as inspiration to make something.

Choose one supply from your undoubtedly large stash of supplies that you have not opened yet and use it as the main jumping off point for a new piece.

If you collect found objects and bits & pieces (and who doesn't?), randomly choose one. Then look for a second object that "goes with" the first. Keep repeating the process until you have a bolt of inspiration and/or a direction for your work.

Use your non-dominant hand to roughly sketch a loose series of lines. Afterwords, look at the sketch to see if you are inspired by a figure that appears, by the curve of a line, etc.

Do a Google image search for one or more artists that you admire. With the grid of their work on the screen, come up with a few words that describe what it is that you like about their work (organic, dark, textural, etc) and then use those words to create your own artwork in your own style.

Look at your own artwork, pictures in magazine, random bits of paper -- but look at them upside down in order to open your eyes and mind to a different way of thinking.

19 comments:

ArtPropelled said...

I needed that. I particularly like the repeat process with found objects and the admired artist exercise.Thanks Seth.

MadBirdDesignsUK said...

My best tip is TIDY THE STUDIO. This always works for me. I uncover some forgotten item, then another and usually an old book or some fabric. Some light bulb goes off in the head and away I go. Have a good holiday season. Make art not war.......... Joan

Angie said...

Plus put your top hat on & think outside the box!

barbara said...

thanks for the tips Seth. it always helps to look at things differently.

Frances said...

Very unusual prompts and suggestions. Thanks and very interesting reading too!

David Hayes said...

Great ideas! I'm seem to remember this image...have you posted it before? I do like it...a lot!

Hastypearl said...

Next, could you do a posting on after you get the idea, HOW to find the time to do it?
That is...when you get the time.
:)
Laura

Jo Murray said...

I'm sure most of us really benefit by that reminder...particularly at this time of year when we are stressed by the distractions of Xmas. Thanks Seth.

rivergardenstudio said...

These are really great ideas Seth, I especially like putting an image of a favorite artist on your computer screen and thinking of words that describe it!
roxanne

Nan G said...

Thanks Seth. I'll print this and pin to my inspiration board.

Ruth L said...

Great advise Seth!

Carl Gopal said...

These are such good small achievable ideas for the burn outs:) Thanks you. Carl

Darlene K Campbell said...

Hey Seth, I think you have a basis for a magazine article here. Great concepts I haven't seen or considered before. Refreshing!

Michelle O'Connor said...

Great post! I've been busy and stressed at work lately - so much so that it was blocking my creativity! I'm definitely going to do this....thank you!

Marilyn said...

Thanks for the push (shove)! Some really great ideas that are so simple.

Annie said...

Thanks for this post, Seth. I'm going to try it with my writing and see where it takes me. Hope that's ok?

Brian Kasstle said...

These are great Seth. Honestly I have never had an artist block.

Mary C. Nasser said...

Wonderful suggestions!
I particularly like the idea of choosing an unopened supply from my supply stash as a jumping off point for a new piece. Thank you for the idea!

PocketSize said...

This is brilliant. Thank you for sharing these ideas!