Artist Block

Usually I let the images in my blog posts speak for themselves and try not to ramble on forever. If you have read any of my other blog posts you know I am no writer but I do my best. This is why today’s post is kinda a stretch out of my comfort zone but I think it needs to be said. 

Graduating from the University of North Texas last May I had a very dream like idea about post college art making. Throughout my four years there coming up with conceptual based art did not take me long to figure out. I would dream up ideas overnight and sleepily text them to Mark (my boyfriend) or right them down in my art journal the next morning. I had so much I wanted to talk about and express in my art I figured when I graduated it would be the same. The last dream I had was not about a moving concept or imagery but instead business analytics of Pinterest. Yep you read that right what once were magical dreams of floating prints or seeing my hands sewing pieces of myself back together but now mundane day to day life events. Honestly my biggest worry graduating was lack of access to printers and a darkroom not a complete art block.

In all honesty there were times that I thought I had artist block but I now understand that was not the case. I understand artist block now better then ever. He is like a rude upstairs neighbor throwing parties every night leaving me pissed off, restless, and unsatisfied.

As much as I try to force by going to galleries, shooting pointless self portraits, exercising, and mindmapping. Nothing comes to together… Honestly its come to the point where something so natural feels forced.

My entire intention on writing this post is not to throw an internet pity party but to put a label on my personal struggle and get some internet accountability. So this is where I google How to beat artists block and try to do the suggestions and see if it works.

The below list comes from Creative Bloq and all are linked

Alright so suggestion one:

1: Tap into your unconscious
"Strange things happen in a semi-sleep state, when your unconscious takes over," says Shotopop's Casper Franken. "Wake up and write down whatever was happening before you forget it."

Starting off strong jk because like mentioned above this was my prior art idea maker but now its so boring even I can’t tell if they are dreams or reality. No more magic art making dreams going on in this head.

2: Get it down on paper
Write your main ideas down in columns, and list absolutely everything that comes to mind. You can mix and match the lists for unusual combinations.

Okay this might be a more applicable suggestion. I already keep about three notebooks with me at all times a work notebook, a work calendar, and a personal notebook. I feel a bit lost without them. Okay here is where the internet comes into hold me accountable I shall now at this point attempt at this new column list idea.

I am already planning on writing a little artist block update if any of these suggestions work so if you don’t see one in like lets say a month I still be struggling.

3: Always carry a sketchbook
Don't go looking for inspiration: "A visually loaded word or phrase can jump out from a passage of text, or a song," proposes Craig Ward. "Be sure to sketch those ideas down when they come."

..for me this is like the same idea as two…

4: Don't be afraid to step away
Completely open briefs can be the worst for causing creative block. Try to distance yourself from the project and come back to it with a clear head.

I think at this point I am as far as I can get

5: Finish what you've started
"There's no such thing as a bad idea: the creative part is in seeing it though to completion, and turning dreams into reality," argues Mills, creative director at ustwo.

okay so there is a tiny project I kinda started that its time to look back on in finish… so we shall see.. this is where if I could i would like but in some mystical music or something fancy so just imagine it in your head

6: Put some fun in your studio
"Sterility leads to an empty void of nothingness," says Mills. Always try to inject some colour and life into your studio, and don't run it like a clinic or a prison.

well since my “studio” is my little one bedroom apartment that is FILLED with plants I think I can put a big check by this one

7: Don't retread your steps
"Inspiration is intangible: you can't do it on purpose," believes illustrator Alex Trochut. "If you just try to reproduce how a good project happened in the past, you'll never get the same result."

well they really got me on this one..they were like hey kylie think you are so funny by saying you already do this stuff bam stop repeating a system that does not work.. lets keep going shall we

8: Expect the unexpected
"The best ideas don't need to be sought out at all; you just have to train yourself not to swerve out of the way when they jump out in front of you," remarks Jon Forss, co-founder of Non-Format.

Boy do I love this one I think so often I am trying to force it to happen or I see something and think that is not a mature art concept. I think its smart to not let any spark of inspiration go to waste and start pursuing it all.

9: Look in unlikely places
Go and do something else entirely. You'd be amazed at where new ideas are hiding out. They're often where you would least expect them to be.

I have thought about this a lot and I at one point had a brief love affair with watercolor. I think its time I re explore this avenue

10: Expand your mind
"It's like mushroom picking: you wander through the magical woods of inspiration and see a big, beautiful mushroom," are the surreal musings of Slovenian duo Kitsch-Nitsch. "Pick it, make a delicious meal, and if your friends like it, go into the woods for more."

11: Explore other creative disciplines
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Look beyond other illustrators and designers: photography, typography, fashion, film, packaging and signage, for instance.

LIke I said preciously I am going to dive back into watercolor lets see if it smarks anything creative.

12: Go against the flow
Try to approach every brief with the opposite of what everyone else would do. It might not be the direction you choose in the end, but it can help to avoid clichd scenarios.

Again not a bad suggestion just easier said then done. I think it is time I step back from my usual path and try something new

13: Grab some 'you time'
Working on too many projects at once can stifle your creativity. If you're feeling burned out, take some time to yourself and turn everything off for a couple of days.

THIS ONE IS HARD WHEN YOU WORK MULTIPLE JOBS. But I am actually doing my best to make this happen more often.

14: Take notes on life
"The best ideas often come when doing completely random, uncreative tasks," confesses Johanna Basford. Jot them down as they come to you, or snap a photo of things that catch your eye.

I use to have to write in a journal for an english class I took it might be helpful to start this up again.

I think this is a good start and a step in the right direction. Like I said earlier I am writing this all out for some accountability. I know I am not the only one struggling with this issue but hopefully you find some tips that will also help you out. I will post a update in a few weeks with how these tips worked or didn’t work for me.