I think I have finally conquered the block! I have kicked it, stomped it, and laughed in its face. I think I may have even said something like this: "Yes, you are a smart and strong competitor, but I am also smart and strong and have a reasonable chance of defeating you."
And, yes I do like to picture my artists block as an annoying, know-it-all-Sheldon-from-the-Big-Bang-Theory, type character. I'm an artist, and therefore am free to have an imaginary nemesis, don't judge me :)
Since I know that all creative people go through phases of feeling stuck, or uninspired at some point, I thought I'd share with you what I've found to be most helpful for me.
- Just keep painting. Or drawing, writing, photographing, or whatever else you do. Because eventually you will work yourself out of this slump, and you will have learned valuable insight about how you like to create. This will help you for the next time you get stuck :)
- Take a break. Yes, I know this a direct contradiction to the first one, but sometimes a break is just what we need. Do something else that you find rejuvenating or relaxing. I find I work the best when I feel refreshed and free of self-imposed burdens. Don't make painting be something you 'have' to do, make it something you 'get' to do, for fun.
- Study about the life and working habits of artists you admire. I find this to be very motivating. I love to read the success stories of others. How they overcame difficulties, their working method, what inspires them, you get the idea. Seeing the success of others is sometimes the motivating push we need to kick ourselves into gear.
- Let yourself create something, just for the sake of creating it. Let yourself make mistakes. There is a lot of freedom in allowing yourself the opportunity to create something and not worry about what anyone else will think of it, or you.
- Switch media or genre. If you usually paint, then pick up your pencils. If you write fiction, try writing poetry. It's exciting to try new things, and you might find out that you are really good at writing limerick's but how would you ever have known that if you didn't try?
- Remember that you have talent, that you are capable, that you CAN do this. Believe in yourself.
See the imperfectness of this photo? But I love it anyway, because it's fun, and it tells a story that I want to remember. And every time I look at it I can't help but smile.