In the previous post I talked about the various art block types, and gave you some tips on how to deal with them when they start (or at least told you about how I deal with them myself.)
Now let’s talk about how I get back on track.
1. Start slow, do something I know
When I feel almost ready to create again (I know exactly when it happens – I start missing creating), I don’t jump start a huge new project immediately. Instead, I do something small that I like and know to feel good and successful, like small ear cuffs, doodles, or painting an eye sketch. I want to build some confidence first, not to fall back into the black hole. We call this ‘a warm up exercise’ for a reason. 🙂
2. Recreate an older work
It’s easy for me as a jewelry artist, because many of my jewelry are ‘made to order’ pieces, so I often have to do it when I work on jewelry orders. I like doing it most of the time. It helps me get back to work on those days when I feel tired or uninspired, and it also helps me to get new ideas. They rarely appear suddenly just from thin air like most people think, inspiration usually comes when I’m already working.
3. Do tutorials, learn a new skill
When I allow myself to be a beginner, I don’t have to worry about whether what I make is good. It also helps me to build new skill sets, so as I can create more of what I can imagine. I’m a self taught artist, so I’ve learned jewelry making and painting by myself. Without online tutorials everything I know now would have taken so much longer to learn. The best places for me are Skillshare and YouTube: I highly recommend these sites if you want to learn artsy-craftsy things.
I often use my bullet journal for writing down how I feel, to brainstorm ideas, to set goals… These things help me to get excited again, to see how my mind works, and to see patterns. You can make special pages to explore your style by writing down (or drawing) your fav colors, artists you like, favourite stones, and anything that usually inspires you. You can write about your struggles: writing often helps finding the answers to your problems.
The best thing in collaborating is that you don’t have to decide everything yourself, and you have to do things you usually don’t do. This is why I’ve started #boszidrawme on Instagram. I’ve asked my friends and followers to send me photos of themselves that I can use as reference. This is great, because I have to draw many kinds of people: different ages, gender, hair styles, glasses, and many more things I usually don’t practice.
Jewelry-wise I love custom orders. Most of the time my customers have wonderful ideas I’d never think of. Unfortunately, the more sales I have on etsy, the fewer custom requests I get… is this because people think I’m too successful or popular to accept custom orders? I hope not. 🙂
6. Challenge yourself
Challenges can be tough, but they are worth trying. I’ve already completed a few, and my skills improved much faster than usual while I was doing them. You can find many ideas online (on Pinterest and Instagram, for example), but you can make your own as well. I’ve done three Drawlloweens, two other drawing challenges, a decluttering challenge, and a few jewelry-related ones so far, and I love them! If you can, join a group, it’ll help you not to quit and exchange experience with others. If you’ve never tried this before, start with a small and easy one, and don’t forget to reward yourself if you manage to finish it.
7. Just start doing something. Anything.
You can tell yourself that you just write for 10 minutes, or draw one nose, or make one small ring. If you can make yourself sit down and start doing whatever you wish you were doing, soon you’ll find that you’ve already been doing it for hours.
By the way, I’ve finished about the 1/3rd of the spring cleaning, and no sign of an art block yet! :))
I hope this (and the previous) post helps you a bit to deal with art blocks. Writing these things down definitely helped me a lot.
Next week I’ll do a little challenge: I’ll choose both an old piece of jewelry and an old drawing of mine, and make updated versions of them to see how I and they changed. I haven’t done this for a while, so it should be exciting!