In my last article, I offered five ways to punch through artist’s block. This week I’m going to give you five more ways to decimate the thing that stands between you and creative productivity!
Let’s get started.
Step 1. Draw from life.
The easiest solution to not knowing what to draw? Draw what’s in front of you. Draw your friends. Draw your pet. Draw something in the room you’re in. Draw your reflection in the mirror.
This is an easy go to and it’s always a great practice to go back to the basics.
Step 2. Choose a long-term background project.
In 2007 I started my first graphic novel, “Julius Destructus”. I had no idea what I was doing. It was a huge goal that literally took me about four years to accomplish. All I knew was that I had to make a graphic novel.
There was always work to do on it. Sometimes I would put it down for months at a time and then come back to it. Eventually, I made enough headway that it propelled me to the finish line on it.
I figured it out as I went along. Don’t be afraid to do that! It’s how you learn.
So choose a big project. Not overwhelmingly big, but big enough that it stretches you, and takes you to the next rung of your skill and knowledge ladder.
Here are a couple ideas:
1. Pick a theme and do a series of five drawings or paintings about that theme.
2. Write a short children’s book and illustrate it.
3. Recount five of your most vivid life experiences and to a series of drawings based on those.
4. Pick a public domain story and illustrate it.
5. Create your own world and characters that inhabit it.
Whatever you do, make sure it’s fun. And make sure it challenges you.
Step 3. Sit down every single day and draw.
Consistency is key to breaking though artist’s block. Even if it’s for a few minutes every day.
Consistency can train artist’s block to stay away. Momentum begets momentum. The more often you do something, the more it becomes a habit, the more it becomes a habit, the more automatically you will do it.
Step 4. Keep several projects going at one time.
While I don’t recommend overloading yourself, having a couple projects to bounce between can keep your creativity and art drive burning strong.
I typically have at least two freelance projects in the works and about two “fun projects” that I do for fun or to build my brand.
Step 5. Give yourself Grace.
There are times when you just won’t be super productive. The point is that you showed up and did what you could. Sometimes you need to relax and spend the day doing nothing.
Remember the most important things in life.
Your family. Your spouse. Your kids. Your friends. Maintain balance.
In closing, artist’s block is common. All serious artists face it. This is frustrating at the least and cantankerously ego smashing to your already overly delicate artist’s ego at the worst.
The good news is that with persistence of the will and strategy of the mind you can, and WILL punch through it.
Now, go make something RAD!