How to Get Unstuck: Dealing with Creative Blocks

This post is especially dedicated to the sweat dripping, hands wringing, nail biting, and eye tearing budding artists. Likewise, here is insight for the sleepy eyed old dog that refuses to learn new tricks. If you ever asked, “how to get unstuck?” Well friends, this is how to deal with your creative blocks…

1. Turn off your television.
2. Set aside special time daily or weekly to create your art.
3. Set aside a special designated place to work, i.e. garage, attic, a drawing table, a place in your garden with a great view or any place where you can escape.
4. Get rid of idle web surfing. Make the Internet a tool, not an addictive drug.
5. Don’t allow family, friends, associates and enemies to pull you away from making your art.
6. Find music that inspires you. “I love jazz!”
7. You must be willing to change your style. If you’ve been a plein-aire painter since Jacob was a pup, try something new. Paint an abstract or photo-realistic piece.
8. Find a mentor or coach.
9. Humble yourself. Follow the leadership of your mentor/coach.
10. Try a new medium. If you traditionally work in watercolor, try oils. You’re a painter, but ceramics always fascinated you. Give ceramics a try.
11. Don’t fear change. Read “Who Moved My Cheese.”
12. Pray about it, and then get to work. God isn’t going to paint the canvas for you. “Faith without works is dead.”
13. Read art history.
14. Keep art journals containing your ideas, concepts, and sketches.
15. Don’t allow the cost of art materials to justify not making art. There are student grade and low cost art supplies available. Also, if you sell your art pieces, you’ll regain your initial investment.
16. Be disciplined and work faithfully. Eventually, you’ll get excited and have lots of fun.
17. Have fun making art. If you look at it like a “job,” you’ll treat it like a job. You’ll quit.
18. Fall in love with making art. No one should have to force you to do what you love.
19. Study children as they make art. They don’t have too many rules. Kids are free spirits.
20. Don’t be lazy. Most artists are lazy, so get up and get to work.
21. Don’t allow your tattoos, piercings, colorful hair, drug usage, odd clothes and artist’s lifestyle to represent you more than the art you create. Once again, get to work!
22. Find a favorite artist and copy their style. I promise you, you’ll never be another Picasso, Rembrandt, or Norman Rockwell, but you’ll be a better artist when it’s all said and done.
23. Work in series, for example, Degas’s ballerinas, Monet’s haystacks, and Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans.
24. Visit museums, galleries, and art studios to gain inspiration.
25. Stop making excuses. “My cat had puppies.” “If I had a studio like McRay, I’d paint.” “One day when the world is at peace, I’ll start drawing again.” I know my examples are silly, but not far from the truth. I’ve heard excuses very close to those.

I hope this helps, McRay

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