The other day I was watching an art tutorial on Youtube when it occurred to me, how can said instructor create such a beautiful masterpiece on her very first shot? Or for that matter--how has she been able to upload a new tutorial three times a week each accomplished in a span of forty-five minutes?! This is when I began recalling other times I’d come across artists like these or scrolled through Instagram art accounts just to find their uploads to be extremely consistent. I’m like--how in the world do they do it? I panicked at the realization that looking back at the past three weeks, I had only come around to doodling on a takeout receipt.
The following day I forced myself to sit down and sketch something out. Thing is, I really couldn’t think of an idea. Absolutely nothing. I was becoming so stressed out as I leaned my forehead against my left-hand palm in desperation--you would’ve thought I was in the middle of my SAT or something. Every fifteen minutes, my sketch would turn into a crumpled ball of paper that was aggressively thrown into the trash. At this moment, I knew I was experiencing a creative block.
I learned about creative blocks back in Highschool when I eavesdropped on a conversation that my art teacher was having with this guy in my class. He had been struggling through the exact thing I was at this very moment. Creative blocks are a gap of time when you feel uninspired and therefore are not able to generate new ideas. Whenever you try, nothing good comes out because you aren’t truly passionate about what you’re putting together. These things can lead you to feel quite defeated. It's like, what were all of those expensive art lessons for? Those hours of practicing, where did they go?
If you are experiencing a creative block it might be because you are overthinking it. You have submerged yourself into the pressure of creating this beautiful masterpiece first try just like that inhumane lady during the art tutorial. Just the thought of putting your pencil down on paper terrifies you. You just know that you’ll want to draw a squirrel and it will come out looking like some sort of raccoon eating a mouse.
My art teacher once told me that whenever he was struggling with his creative process, he would literally lock himself in his closet for thirty minutes to an hour every day and force himself to sketch. When you realize that nobody has to see your raccoon eating a mouse drawing, there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much pressure. Just by drawing something and allowing yourself to de-tense and loosen up, you will be able to continue exercising your artistic skill while pushing out that nasty creative block.
Another reason that you might be experiencing a creative block is that your emotions deep inside are getting in the way of your creative thoughts. This is when you need to grab your coat and get yourself outside to take a walk. Then, come back--listen to some music, watch movies, look at some of your favorite paintings, read a book. These are all things that will help you get inspired and grab a hold of some fresh ideas.
Creative blocks are hardly ever discussed by artists, which I think is a problem because it leads the individual to think that they are the only one struggling through it, leading to feelings of failure. This is similar to when you are on Facebook and everybody's posts seem to be of them relaxing at the beach, partying, and looking flawless while you're at home hating yourself in bed eating a bag of potato chips. Makes you feel like the biggest loser in the world, huh? When in reality, there are tons of you’s out there experiencing the same feelings and exactly where you are. But all of these social media posts, tutorials are making up the illusion that nobody else experiences doubts, feels left out, and off-track from their expectations. We need to talk about these things and be more supportive of one another. And together get through our creative blocks!