Monday, August 2, 2010

Bye-bye block

      Artists block: when one feels no inspiration, motivation, or desire to create. (this is the definition according to me)

      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.

    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.
  • 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.
   Just remember why it is you love to create. Remember what it was in the beginning that gave you this desire to add something to your already crazy life. Because it brings you peace, joy, purpose, whatever. You are creative because you need to be, it's who you are. Next time that little block comes along, kick him out, harshly and without apology. You have my permission.


  1. Beautifully, inspiring post, Crystal. Wishing you a wonderful week filled with blessings and surprises..........:)

  2. Yay! What a great post. And by the way, I LOVE Sheldon.

  3. Love this post! Thank you for giving me permission! lol. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us its ok to take a break & try something different! Hope all is well!!

  4. Thank you Carol! You too friend :)

    Thanks Jeannie! I love Sheldon too :)

    Thanks Kimberly, glad it helped :) Hope all's well with you too!

  5. Nice comments on blocks and needed this to help me keep going. Summer time is a hard time to keep at it because we get so distracted by so many other things that we can't do in the winter.

  6. Crystal,
    This is why I love your blog. Not only your paintings, but your posts are inspiring too. I have still not read the post on time management. Waiting to get some quaility time when I can read that article and take something away from it.

  7. thank you Crystal! I'm bookmarking this so that I can follow these steps when the block comes a knockin'! Most inspiring post and so helpful. And that photograph is perfect. No imperfections whatsoever. What a great painting it would make!

    Thank you, thank you. Reading about other artist's processes is really helpful to me as is each point you made. Now I have a handy-dandy cheat sheet to get me outta the ditch!

  8. You are blogging so regularly I can hardly keep up! I am with you - I LOVE this photo! It is so fun! I have occasionally had experienced Artist's block - That is where blogging becomes so valuable - You know you have followers who are waiting to see something new but also you can visit other blogs for inspiration too :0)

  9. Ha! I LOVE the big bang theory! :) Love your sketch, all your photos of your boys are amazing.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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