6 Easy Steps to Overcome Art Block (2024 Step by Step)

Art block overcome
©Aira fujiyuki

Art Block is a non-medical condition that an artist cannot produce an artwork due to specific reason. Their creative juices are completely blocked.

Is art block real?

Yes, art block is a painful real experience that every artist can experience. This can be haunting to most of passionate artists around the globe.

This is case to case basis, and everyone might experience different symptoms of this annoying experience.

These are some symptoms of art block:

  1. You’re struggling to produce an artwork.
  2. You feel like there is something in your mind blocking your creativity.
  3. Feeling unmotivated to produce an artwork.
  4. You’re having a difficulty to translate ideas from your mind to your canvas.

The symptoms may vary depending on the personal situation of the individual.

What is the Main Cause of Art Block?

One of the common causes of art block is perfectionism. You have a mindset that your art must be good without realizing that this mindset has a negative effect to your artwork.

Some scientific studies have shown that drawing can have a good impact to your mental wellbeing. For this reason, overcoming perfectionism is a one click delete to your art block.

How to Overcome Art Block

Step 1: Open your art software or grab your paper.

Even you are being blocked, try your best to open your art program or software you are using if you are a digital artist. If you are a traditional artist, grab your art materials and your paper.

Try your best to do it. Just put your stylus or pencil or brush in your hand. This step will not pressure you to do art but to prepare you to the next step.

Step 2: Think what you wish to draw if you are not blocked.

Imagine the scenario that your creative flow is not blocked. After that, ask your mind these questions:

  1. What kind of art should I doing if I can do arts.
  2. What kind of style should I’m doing right now if I’m not blocked?
  3. What should I have done if I’m doing art right now?

If these questions clarified the thing you wish to draw, you may proceed to step 3. The thing you want to draw can be everything. It can be anime, doodles, sketch, line arts or etc.

Step 3: Set your timer to 5 Minutes

Now, your right hand or left hand is holding your material. Using your spare hand, get your phone or watch to start the timer. Set it to 5 minutes, please be honest in this step.

If the timer is now working, you may proceed to step 3.

Step 4: Give yourself permission to draw “GARBAGE.”

I don’t instruct you to draw a trash can but I’m talking about the idiomatic term of the word garbage. What I mean is this step is to draw what you wish to draw when you are in step 2 even your artwork has a “garbage quality.”

If you are making a masterpiece, give yourself permission to let your work looks “ugly” or “bad.” Ignore the comparison game in social media. JUST DO ARTS WITHOUT LOOKING THE QUYALITY OF IT!

Step 5: Draw as much as you can in 5 minutes.

Your mind has now a permission to produce “garbage artwork.” Perfectionism is now crushed, and you are free. After you’ve crushed the perfectionism, you may start to draw everything for 5 minutes..

Step 6: Continue to produce “GARBAGE” artworks.

If your creative juice is still flowing in your brain, proceed to deliberately produce garbage works. Continue it as much as your creativity is still running.

That’s it! Congratulations, you are drawing again, you did it! You finally overcome the perfectionism that blocking your inner artist.

What is Inner critic and How to Stop it?

Now, the skeptic to some artists reading this article is that they don’t want to draw garbage. I want to draw a good artwork.

As you start to draw, you may hear a critic from your mind saying these sentences to yourself:

  1. This style is awful.
  2. That art idea is terrible.
  3. The anatomy is innacurate.
  4. The appearance of your character is awful.
  5. This is the most terrible art in the world.
  6. You are the most terrible artist.
  7. Quit art
  8. You’re not good at it.

Please stop thinking like that, it has negative effect to your artistic life.That voice is what they called the inner critic.Thise voice makes harm than good.

See, that voice is causing you to be a perfectionist and reproduce an art block that can be a barrier to your creative juice. It doesn’t want you to be judged by a world by putting out a garbage artwork around the globe

The problem in this voice is that interrupting your creativity and can cause you to have an art block. It’s criticized your art that doesn’t finished yet and that don’t make you a better artist but blocks your artistic mind to produce masterpiece.

In order to remove this critic voice, say to your mind that “I promise I will give you a chance to criticize LATER, after I finish my artwork.” By making a promise to your inner voice, it will stay quiet during your drawing session and stop this voice from being an art block. Remember to make it critical later or it will not trust you in the future.

Conclusion

That’s how you can overcomne writer’s block instantly! Just give yourself permission to write garbage and let your creative juices flow like a riverfall’s water. Try your best to shut that inner voice and stop your perfectionist mindset.

Also, investing in high quality drawing tablet for digital artist can be a good investment for you and can potentially helps you from overcoming art block! Check out the XPPen Artist Pro 16 Gen 2!

References

  1. 15 Ways To Overcome Art Block (That Actually Work) | Miranda Balogh
  2. Writer’s Block Instant Cure (youtube.com)
  3. Intrapersonal communication – Wikipedia
  4. Inner critic – Wikipedia