Tips for Art / Illustration Block

I’ve always had a bit of difficulty deciding what direction to take my blog. I’ve finally made a decision to post regularly regarding sketchbooks, advice for peers, and advice for clients. This advice is for other creatives.

Tips for Art / Illustration Block

I’ve discovered that the largest obstacle for me was fear of not being good enough to execute the ideas that were coming my way. First decide to shed that fear because with it, you are only holding yourself back. I’ve learned that it is more important to get a sketch or piece of work finished and learn from my successes and mistakes. Now, you’re with me? Good. These other tips should help get the creative juices flowing.

– Get Out and About
You will have no experiences to pull from if you never get out and about. Whether you go it solo or with a crowd, try to be observant. You might get your next character idea from the person at the next table in the restaurant you had lunch. You might get a great pattern idea from your latest walk through nature. Try new things, regularly. Explore and store interesting bits of information to use later.

– Connect the Dots
Try to connect ideas and visuals that aren’t always seen together. This will produce unique concepts since only you have connected A, 6, and + because only you have experienced these particular events and put them together.

– Listen to Children
My son’s awesome imagination has been such an inspiration to me lately. Not everyone has a child, but prior to having one, I’d overhear children having conversations and they are hilarious, innocent, mischievous, sweet, and on. Spend time in a crowded park, beach, library, etc. and just eavesdrop. Believe me when I say that there will be crazy ideas galore.

– Spin It, Twist It, Bop It
Okay, maybe not bop it. If you have an idea that needs a little something, try changing it in unexpected ways. What does it look like upside down. What if you used a mute colour in a neon palate. Flip it from one side to the other. I think you get the idea. Change it up!

– Still Life
Remember when I said getting something done is important? Well if you are still having a block, start with a still life sketch. Grab some objects, throw them on a table and start drawing. Once your hand starts to get going, perhaps you’ll feel a little more creative for the next piece and you’ll have spent time practising.

– Tutorials
Google is our friend. Choose a medium and search for a tutorial to complete. There are so many opportunities to learn for free online.

– Lessons
Sign yourself up for lessons at a library, art store, online, or school. Sometimes greater confidence and new abilities can remove a creative block.

– Study Your Heros
If there is someone you look up to in the creative world, there is nothing wrong with studying what they have created and moving on from there. If you practice with fan art, label it as so and give credit where credit is due. Most creatives would be flattered and are interested in helping others grow. Don’t be afraid to expand the list of people you admire to get new inspiration.

– You Don’t Got to Go to Work
Try creating outside your usual spot. Take a sketchbook outside of your studio (or where ever) to sketch, brainstorm, doodle. If you have the ambition, create a finished work in a park or your yard. Sunshine does a world of good when you are used to being stuck indoors.

If you have other tips, throw them in the comments. If these tips didn’t get you creating start back up at the top. I really believe getting rid of that mental black hat is the first step to creative freedom.

Be seeing you.

Comment (1)

  • Tristan

    August 18, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Those are some very good tips! I’m going to get started soon!

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