Dealing with Creative Blocks

Creative block

You do not need a ginormous 17-step strategic plan. Or new magic markers. It is much simpler than you might imagine.

If you are feeling uninspired, in a creative rut, missing the muse... please know that this is temporary. I have some thoughts about how you can get yourself back into the creative habit. So I'll preface this by saying that I have been doing art just about every day for a decade. I've got a zillion projects in process -- art journals, drawing journals, lettering journals, painted papers, index card collages, everything in various stages of completion. There are lots of options to fit any mood! 

Put your creative dry spells into perspective and make the most of them!

My experience is that ideas will flow if you keep showing up. Yup. Even on days when you don't feel like you have any ideas. When you are walking through quicksand you can STILL do things to move forward.  

a) Shift the balance; put more weight on the process and less on the finished work. 

b) Think about what you enjoy most about the artistic & creative thing that you so love! Is there some aspect of your process that you miss? Is it mark-making? The initial sketch? Drawing with a group of friends? Swapping recipes? Cross-hatching? Trading quilt blocks? Selecting a colorway? Framing the finished work? Writing the first draft? Snapping street photos? What can you do to get back to MORE of that part? 

c) If you are wavering and feeling stuck staring at the blank surface, I think it's valuable to revisit the reason you wanted to to the thing that you are trying to do. What initially sparked your interest? What was it that you wanted to explore? What are you curious about? If you could fast-forward, what message would you send your current self? 

Creative block

At Daisy Yellow I write about baby steps. How sticking with a consistent daily art/creative practice helps you build drawing skills, painting skills, collage skills, all of the mad skills you want. Working on a small project each day - or for a small block of time - helps you loosen up and practice!!!

When you experiment with your materials with an open mind and a curious attitude... you can become a better artist. Even a deceptively simple project like a collage on an index card or a blind-contour drawing will make a difference, if you stick with it. And I get that it's hard to stick with it, especially when the muse has disappeared, when you are in the muck, when you perceive that you are stuck. 

Readers ask me how to get back to their art when they are feeling blocked. How on earth do you do art when you feel like crud or are in a deep dry spell, a lull, totally out of ideas? The good news is that your muse has NOT disappeared into thin air.

There is no muse. Gasp.

In Getting Unstuck & Figuring Out What to Do, I talk about the oscillations of the creative process and try to put low altitude phases into perspective so that you can make the most of them. We'll deal with the times when the hypothetical theoretical muse {aka: your imagination} is off on a cruise and you are stuck in the mud. 

This is technically Daisy Yellow digital Zine #16... you'll find 23 pg of artwork + chatter about drawing + creating + art journaling!

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