Severe artists block! HELP! :(

  • If you just need some random prompts to draw I would suggest download the "Arty Games" app from art Youtuber Jazza. There are tons of interchangeable prompts and challenges that you can generate from it.

    Not sure if you are an Apple or Android user, but here is the link for the Google Play store to download it.

    Arty Games on Google Play

  • SVS OG

    @hannahmccaffery It’s Monday - I’m quite optimistic about my sermon right now! Just don’t talk to me on Saturday:)

  • @danielolmstead Brilliant thank you, I'll be watching that video today! πŸ™‚
    @Buddy-Skelton Thanks so much for the link and recommendation, I'll definitely have a look today!
    @demotlj Good luck with it πŸ˜ƒ

  • SVS OG

    Sounds like that "creative bank account" needs a deposit πŸ™‚
    Go to a museum or gallery and look at art. Buy a new "art of" book and spend time pouring over the pictures. Make something in a different medium (play-doh sculpture!) Make a flower arrangement. Take a walk in nature and notice light/shadow. Take a nap. Give yourself permission to relax a bit, then doodle. Fill a page with boxes stacked on top of each other, or flowering vines.

    I know when I get myself wound up with worry or anxiety, I can't come up with any ideas at all. You're not alone with this problem!

  • @kat Thank you for your lovely message, I've been listening to a lot of the SVS youtube videos and @Jake-Parker youtube today, so I will definitely take your advice of topping up my creative bank account, starting with a walk in the woods!
    Thanks again! It's nice to know I'm not alone!

  • One other thing for anyone who is struggling with this right now:
    I have found that feeling depressed is a huge creativity (and motivation) killer. it's super important that you find things that help you to feel truly fulfilled and happy, and do those things as often as needed. This will help to unlock your mind and allow you to relax internally so that you can perform well externally.

    Personally, I love being around people and working with people, but currently I work a remote job, so I'm alone a lot. I have had to make ways to communicate with my coworkers and spend more time with my family in order to keep from feeling too alone. Also, I try to take time each morning to meditate and deep breathe. This helps me a lot with feeling at peace with myself and my situation. So, whatever makes you truly happy, do more of that.

    In that link that I posted earlier (, Jake Parker says that you need to do a 30-day challenge, but that doesn't have to be a drawing/art challenge. It should be a challenge to do something that will lift you up and push you forward. So, if running is your thing, do a 30-day running challenge. If meeting someone new fills you up with warm fuzzies, do a 30-day-meet-new-people challenge. The point is that you are challenging yourself to do more of what makes you feel good about you.

    If you're stuck in a rut, don't be afraid to reach out. People care about you.

    I hope this is helpful to anyone struggling!

  • @danielolmstead You're absolutely right! I've noticed recently that a lot of illustrators/artists I follow on social media are opening up about how they struggle with mental illness (anxiety, depression etc), and I really admire them as they just keep going and produce so much fantastic work despite probably feeling like rubbish a lot of the time.
    I watched the link you sent, and also the Creative Block video, and what the guys suggest is really helpful and its good to know that even the most successful feel stuck sometimes.

    It's so great to hear that you've found ways to make yourself content and happy! Thanks for your lovely message, it's so comforting to know all artists stick together these days πŸ™‚

  • SVS OG

    Sometimes I just need to sit down and read some picture books to get some new info in my brain. I like to grab them randomly at the library and read and look at the images. It's fun and it helps me out of a rut I can get in when trying to do projects. I always do projects or I might not do anything. I have three or more going right now and I have been working on some of them for years (because I was raising kids and homeschooling them when I started-not much time). Now I am free to finish them πŸ™‚ I also don't have the stress of being perfect anymore. I had to retrain my brain for that one. I am also not trying to make it a career and earn money so I have no one to impress in that way. For me it is the pressure of doing it for someone else and getting payed which blocks me because I don't want to disappoint them. If I do it for fun, I don't have that pressure. Finished Not Perfect and Failing Forward are the two mantras I try to remember.

  • @marsha-kay-ottum-owen I tend to go to my collections of picture books for inspiration too, maybe I should pop to the library to look at some newer ones πŸ™‚
    Thats great to hear that you're working on your own projects again and that you can really take your time without all the added stress and pressure!

  • Hey Hannah!

    I have a couple thoughts that have worked for me. I don't know of a "cure"..for me it's more like waves. I'll slump into a creative block and then feel like I slowly work myself out. Hopefully some of these will help you out.

    1.)Step back- Take a deep breath. There's nothing wrong with you, you're just about to stretch as an artist. Take some time to meditate and think about why you feel the way you do. It it the style, or the medium? The story or concept?? There's a book called "The artists way" by Julia Cameron. It's AWESOME, and will help you with these feelings and so much more. Give yourself a set number of days to not draw. Get out with a friend or significant other

    2.) Get a fresh sketchbook, whatever size you like or want to try and write the purpose of the book in the cover. I like to say things like "No one is allowed to see this sketchbook. There's no strings attached, no expectations, nothing. This is for me to explore.This thing should look like a war zone. I can copy artists work, steal, tear out bad pages, I can do whatever I want." When I start to get anxious about my work, I read the front page and remind myself that there's absolutely nothing to worry about. Seriously, this is your book. You don't need to show it to anyone. If they ask or start trying to guilt trip you, you just say "sorry. nope!" Start someone in the middle of the book. I even take a brush pen and make random marks on some of the pages as I go so that I don't feel like I'm "ruining" a clean page.

    3.) Find a simple project you'd like to do. Focus on the enjoyment. Pick something you can finish, but make it simple. Example: I decided to take a simple one sentence story, and tell it in X number of pictures. I told myself that it was for fun, that none of it was for money, I could try however many styles I wanted, and that I needed to finish. For me, finishing it will mean printing the final work in a book , and printing all the thumbnails sketches on a poster..I guess it will sort of be a trophy to myself showing that I really can finish things, and that I am a master of my creativity; my creativity is not a master of me.

    Just some thoughts. Keep us posted on how your're doing! Best of Luck.

  • @cam-royce Thank you so much for your wonderful reply, the advice you've given will definitely help and i'm looking forward to trying them out asap! I think that is a lot of illustrator's problem isn't it? Not taking a breath and looking after yourself mentally and physically, I know i'm definitely guilty of that!
    Thank you for the book recommendation, i'm going to have a look into that today and order a copy πŸ™‚
    What a wonderful idea about just picking one sentence to illustrate, that already feels like less pressure as you don't have too much text to deal with!

    I think i'm going to make your "I am the master of my creativity, my creativity is not the master of me" my mantra from now on!
    Thank you so much again, I hope you're having a good week illustration wise, I'm hoping for a productive weekend when maybe my motivation will come flooding back!

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