10 ways to overcome artist’s block and get your mind back to creative spot. It’s very common, but devastating moment for an artist to feel they’ve lost their inspiration, to encounter a creative block. But suffering from artist’s block doesn’t mean you’ve lost your imagination or ability to execute cool stuff. Good news is, over years of working in professional concept art environment I found that there are many ways that you can beat it permanently. 🙂

There are 10 simple ways that I usually do to beat artist’s block and kill the beast once and for all.
1) If you cannot think of what to draw or paint, try study or copy from master artists. This is a good opportunity for you to challenge yourself and you will discover new things along the way copying the work of artists you like and admire such as John Singer Sargent, Frank Frezetta, or any great artists. There is no shame, all the great artist study or copy the master artists before them, it’s true! 🙂

2) Life drawing session, just go draw from live models or go outside and do some landscape sketch, composition, study trees, leaves, building, people. Just draw!
This one is easy. But I often choose life drawing session because there are people there and it motivate you to draw faster and more. (thanks Luca for reminding me) 🙂

3) Change mediums. If you draw with tablet, start random doodling with pencil in the sketchbook. If you use pencil, try markers, charcoals, brushes, ect. Explore with new materials and use new tools. You can just doodle random shapes to get your frustration out, it doesn’t need to make sense. Though you might find some cool shapes randomly that will give you idea to develop further.

how to over come artist's block

how to over come artist's block

4) Go for a run! That what usually works for me, get sweat and you will be rejuvenate. Believe it or not, your brain will function so fresh after a good long (at least 20 minute) sweat. If you don’t run, get into the habit! It’s good for your health and cheap. Or you can punch the bag or any exercise you might prefer…as long as you get sweat you will get the same result. Slow walk does not count!

5) Find new inspiration pieces, I do this a lot. Internet is a HUGE collection of information. I usually visit darkroastedblend.com, englishrussia.com, or cghub and look for something cool. Or to avoid the computer, go visit to a local gallery or museum often helps. Or go through art books and magazines. Take the pressure off of yourself and just enjoy other artists’ work.

6) Take a new direction with your approach. If you usually start using lines, try start using shapes. If your approach is realism, try cubism. If you start with monochrome, try using color right away. Anything that get you away from your habit or comfort zone.

7) Do anatomy study, landscape study, just anything to keep you drawing and painting. You can also study something you don’t usually pay attention to. Make it a mission of studying just hands for a few days or feet or hair, ect. It’s always good to do some review and study.

8) Read cool stuff that will stimulate your visual cortex. I usually go read Greek mythology, Hindu’s god, goddess and deities, Chinese mythology and ancient tales like “Journey to the West” or any contemporary science-fiction like Cthulhu, Dune, any zombie story. Then make your own vision of whatever that might be creatures, demons, etc. Watch some visually kickass movies also works.

9) Re-design old cartoons, comics, Manga, or Anime, movies you like. Look at them again, read, browse, then recreate them as your own vision. It’s all for the good fun and it can be long and challenging. Kinda similar to #7

10) Sleep, maybe you should get a good sleep possibly. You might be working too hard and your brain don’t function anymore. So give it a break. 🙂

If these 10 tips do not help, it is possibly that you are burnt out. so…you could do #11

11) There are times that the pros called it, “burn out”! If that is the case, it’s not your creativity. It’s your fire that is slowly going out of flame. It’s time to take a break from art totally for at least 3-7 days. Go do something else. If art is your profession, you will have to find a hobby, for real. If not, then it’s easier for you. If you are an art student, well this one doesn’t apply to you because you have not earn this batch yet. Don’t even draw, browse art forum or do anything that relate to what you do everyday art wise. You will come back with all the new idea and possibly OVERLOADED that you cannot wait to get it out of your head.

Hope this information are helpful 🙂
Art is coming soon. Cheers!!!

PS: if you have any tips that you do to help get a rid of artist’s block, feel free to share on the comment. Thank you guys.

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10 ways to overcome artist’s block

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About The Author
- Xia Taptara (黃曉聲 Huang XiaoShēng), currently a freelance concept artist for games and films, formerly a character concept artist for ArenaNet/NCsoft (GuildWars & Guildwars 2). I also work on various projects for Game of Thrones, Square-Enix, Paizo Publishing, Fantasy Fight Games, Disney Interactive, and many publishers & clients. I use Wacom Tablet Intuos and Photoshop CS2,3,4,5 to do most of my professional art work. I use pencil, pen, and traditional medium in my free time. I founded IdrawGirls.com (TheArtClasses.com) in 2007 to motivate myself to create more and better art. Also I get to draw and paint whatever the hell I want to. Hopefully I can inspired some young soul and old soul alike. *QUESTIONS & COMMENT: PLEASE POST THEM ON THE BLOG. Business Inquiry please e-mail me.