Artist’s Block

Elisha Verbes, Staff Writer and Artist


Creative block: It’s a common enemy among all creative people. Art block and writing block are the ones most talked about, but the creative block can happen to anyone who creates things either as a hobby or as a profession. There are several forms of art block and they all affect people in different ways. Without getting into the complicated details, art block is when artists experience a dip in the creative roller coaster. They either have a lack of ideas, are feeling frustrated about how their art looks or just have no motivation or energy to produce art. 


The big question remains: How do I overcome it? Every creative person will overcome it differently, so it is very difficult to pinpoint a universal solution. Here are some methods that I have compiled from research and personal experience :


1. Simple things like clearing your workspace or going outside can clear your head and refresh you if all you need is a breather. 


2. Sometimes art block can be about what you are creating. You may be bored or uninspired by the repetitiveness of your work. To tackle this, go completely out of your comfort zone and make something that you never normally would. This is a very important practice for artists in general because it expands their skills and can help them discover new styles and subject matters. 


3. On the flip side, artists may need to go back to their roots and draw what they love and what they are good at to give them confidence if they have been unhappy with how their art has been looking. Don’t think of it as drawing something easy, but drawing something that you have had lots of practice with.


4. Sometimes art block can be about lacking time to create. This could be due to your daily routine, homework, and extracurriculars which may leave no time to make art. If you are in this situation, maybe evaluate how busy your schedule is and if you need to stop doing something, like quitting a sports team, to make time for creating art. Think about how much of a priority art is to you and make adjustments to your schedule if it is very important to you


5. Stop comparing yourself! This is something that I struggle with most. Whether it’s comparing yourself to other artists or even comparing yourself to your past self and past art, it is detrimental and can worsen your art block. 


6. Remove the stress – no one has to see your art. Don’t feel like you need to make art for other people or that other people will think is good. Just create art, and don’t worry about how it looks.


7. Sometimes all you need is inspiration or motivation. This could be as simple as scrolling on Instagram or even visiting an art museum and gathering inspiration from others.


I asked a fellow 10th-grade artist, Jordan Nauntan, about their experiences with the art block. Jordan said they had experienced it a lot, but only for a few days at a time. Jordan felt “Extreme frustration. Nothing I drew came out the way I wanted it to.” Jordan deals with art block by waiting it out, however for me, waiting until creativity sparks just makes me even more frustrated. This proves my point that everybody experiences different forms of creative block and deals with it in different ways. 


Sometimes making art can make me feel empowered and happy, but other times I get frustrated about how it looks and very demotivated. Everybody experiences highs and lows, so it is perfectly normal to experience a creative block or disruption to your artistic habits. You also don’t need to be a dedicated, professional artist or be serious about art to experience art block. Especially when you are just starting out, art block can be discouraging and demotivating but I really encourage you to power through and discover what and how you like to create!