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Unblocking Artist’s Block

By Valentina Duong, Creative Director

Many artists often have had their fair share of a normal, but annoying condition commonly known as artist’s block, or art block. Being unable to produce content that isn’t met by your standards or expectations can feel frustrating and discouraging, especially when it can hinder your productivity and deplete your energy and motivation. Though, it doesn’t mean that you should completely stop working on your art when you’re not “in the zone.”

But of course, everyone is different in how they approach overcoming artist’s block. As a hobbyist digital artist myself, it definitely helps to be reassured by important tips and reminders in tackling art block and regaining motivation. As easy it may sound, but can be hard to do – you have to keep on persisting and pushing through.

It doesn’t hurt to challenge yourself once in awhile by stepping outside your comfort zone. Challenge leads to growth, improvement, mastery, and finally success. Don’t be afraid to change your routine. Experiment with new art styles and techniques, familiarize yourself with the tools and functions of that new digital art program, or change your medium. You may find that just experimenting for a bit can eventually lead to a quality creation without even trying.

Visit your favorite place, seek out art exhibits, go for a long walk, listen to music while working, or relax for a few days to take more care of your personal health. Don’t neglect your bodily, emotional, and spiritual needs. Releasing any emotional stress can unleash creativity and inspiration. Sometimes just walking away from the drawing board can also help to find inspiration in discovering new muses and artists.

Practice makes perfect. Everyone says this, and it’s true, but there’s another part to what “practice makes perfect” really means. For those seeking active improvement, don’t draw something over and over until you get better and claim it as “practice”. Practicing is also studying and seeking out information. Like studying for tests to improve your test scores, you also have to study in art to improve too.

Creating art to your expectations doesn’t always come easily. It’s the reality that most – if not all artists have to face – even the professional artists. You won’t be granted easy success if you aren’t willing to put in extra time and effort. Your art won’t improve if you don’t have the patience to put in the work. Keep drawing and practicing, but work hard and stay focused as well. Strive to be better than you are now and not anyone else.

Each time you work, think of it as if you’re gaining experience and gradually leveling up. The amount of time you devote to practicing will be the amount of talent you have. Don’t ever give up. You will exceed your standards.

Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other artists. Likes, notes, and followers on social media don’t determine your artistic worth. Art isn’t a competition.

Your self-worth isn’t tied to your ability to create art easily and well. Not every drawing is going to be a masterpiece, but that doesn’t make you any less valuable as a person. Remember this: your art is worthwhile for as long as you decide that it’s worthwhile.

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