Art Discussion

For the past couple of months, I’ve felt unmotivated and uninspired. I've tried to wait it out, but I'm still feeling the same. Can anyone share their experiences or routines that have helped you get out of an artist’s block?

By Billie Devlin

22 Comments

  • Zom Osborne artist
    Zom Osborne (@zom18)
    01/20/2021 @ 2:45pm

    I find a sketchbook keeps me out of artist's block. I put down any idea in my sketchbook, without critiquing it. No judgement on if it is a good or bad idea, they all go in. This not only gives me some place to go when I am looking for inspiration, I find that my 'bad' ideas often birth more ideas - good and 'bad'. Also I work on more than one drawing/painting at a time. So when I am stuck, I can work on another piece.

  • Derek Lowes artist
    Derek Lowes (@nervepixel) Plus Member
    01/20/2021 @ 2:48pm

    If you feel unmotivated or uninspired one thing to try and not do is to stop working or practicing. My lack of motivation comes from me thinking my work is pointless or meaningless or simply just a waste of my time. It happens to all of us at some points. Try to focus on why you are doing art, not the result. And if you hate the results just dedicate your drawing time to honing your skills to be better at drawing. Draw the world around you like a salt shaker or spoon. Find joy in drawing the most pointless of things just for the sake of drawing or doing. Your practice should bring you back around and inspire you. Stop looking at all the amazing artists on the internet - its so overwhelming too look at someone on their art journey that is miles ahead of me. It makes me thing UGH I will never be better or get good. This is me putting standards on my own work and it just stops motivation for me all together. Beware of what pressure you put on yourself and make sure you love and celebrate all the art that you do - it's yours and its a part of you, and your journey. But above all don't quit or stop if you can help it. If you are uninspired just draw the world around you then all that practice will be there for you when you are inspired once again.

  • B Wolf artist
    B Wolf (@SedonaEquineArt)
    01/21/2021 @ 10:43pm

    I’ve experienced this a lot. The past few months for me have been kind of a funk, I tend to finish a project and not be interested in starting another. Waiting it out had worked for me in the past, but this time 3 months had passed and it didn’t help. However once classes started back up again I was forced to create for a class. I found that even when you don’t feel like drawing, just sitting down and forcing yourself to draw something helps. Sit down at your desk, tell yourself you’ll spend 5 minutes drawing, and then be done. Once that time is up, take it from there. More often than not you’ll get wrapped up in the drawing and want to continue. Or you won’t, and that’s ok! Creating should be fun, and if you really don’t feel like doing it, don’t. Best of luck!

  • Bleu Hope artist
    Bleu Hope (@bleuhope)
    01/22/2021 @ 7:13pm

    I feel you. It's definitely a rotten feeling when your drive to create is just...zilch, to say the least. I find art prompts are handy things for a creative jumpstart. Some days are harder than others but more often than not in my case, I find they seldom tend to fail. If you're on Instagram or Facebook, I suggest checking out these folks. It's my local art supplier and they do weekly prompts every Thursday that are just delightful :) https://www.instagram.com/edinburghartshop/ https://www.facebook.com/EdinburghArtShop If you're a sci-fi fan, then Draw Me A Robot I recommend also. They upload a new one each month and they're great for all sorts of reasons too: https://www.instagram.com/drawmearobot/

  • David Wilson artist
    David Wilson (@David50Wilson)
    01/27/2021 @ 4:43pm

    I can't know for sure, in your case, or in any case. I also have slowed down a lot lately. I think sometimes we might blame ourselves or our art when really, it is not my job to produce or create or imagine my inspiration. Life should be the source of inspiration, and Covid-type living , in my life, has minimized my sources of inspiration. The fact that you are asking about this, for input, suggests to me that you are willing to work and would like to but just aren't being " fed" by the world around you, Television doesn't help so much, either. Maybe if you just forgive the whole droop of life in general, you may find a different kind of motivation and respond to it. And if you're going a little nuts, like me, take it to your 'drawing board' and be as crazy as you feel. All human sentiments are worthy of paint.

  • Vanesssa Scola artist
    Vanesssa Scola (@Artisme)
    01/28/2021 @ 11:45am

    Hey Billie, you really aren't alone in these crap times. Feel so sad too as art is who we are, what we love and what inspires us. It's real tough right now, more and more as we are stuck in a sad place in our minds and our poor bodies. It really sucks but we have to slowly trust our creative minds and challenge ourselves when it happens for us. This is such a cool forum some kind artist told me about. Where are you based in this world? Some times I suddenly think it is still light outdoors and that makes me feel better and ready to start being creative again. We are all here for each other.

  • Vanesssa Scola artist
    Vanesssa Scola (@Artisme)
    01/28/2021 @ 12:02pm

    @David50Wilson Hey David, love this group and so happy to have found it. Sanity. Perfect. Love your style. This covid thing makes us all crazy, sad, down anf all the rest. It's real tough to motivate ourselves with no time scale or end in sight. We suffer more as artists than anyone else. Sometimes we feel a glimmer of hope and that sparks some thing good, inspiration.

  • J B artist
    J B (@jqln)
    01/28/2021 @ 8:54pm

    I know how you feel! I’ve been writing a lot in a journal – and this past week, I’ve had time to journal quite a lot. Since I’ve been doing it all day (in between drawing), I’ve uncovered many issues and limiting beliefs that I’ve had. I’ve been swamped for the past month, so I didn’t have time to draw after work. When I got back to drawing, I felt like it wasn’t coming out in any way that made me happy. Right after the crappy drawing, I would journal, and I uncovered a bad habit, and writing about this inspired me to set it right by doing another drawing the next day (same theme, not the same drawing). The second time, it was also uninspiring, but I recognized another bad habit. I would never have thought about these things as bad habits if I didn’t journal about it afterward. I even made a section in the back of my journal for “bad habits.” The next day, I didn’t repeat any of these bad habits, but the medium and the way I used it turned out crappy. I wrote about why that didn’t work. On the fourth day of doing the same themed drawing (which is this week’s prompt btw), I finally got somewhere I was happy. When I’m stuck, I realized that I don’t have to expect myself to churn out all the imagery from my head. Brainstorming or writing words complement my thinking process, and I have learned to think of words as tools as a perfectly reasonable method, without expecting myself to draw from the subconscious non-stop. This new journaling routine has clarified how many negative thoughts arise, limiting my creativity.

  • Deleted artist
    Deleted (@Deleted)
    02/02/2021 @ 9:57pm

    I like to do random challenges. Or draw something new like from an art tutorial.

  • Carla Cryptic artist
    Carla Cryptic (@CarlaCryptic) Plus Member
    02/05/2021 @ 6:12pm

    • Watch Portrait Artist of the Week (every Sunday on FB) - draw along while a famous sitter sits still for you. • Make a postcard for another artist somewhere in the world and send it to them via postal mail. •Take some paper of a single color and create a self-portrait with it through cutting, tearing, and folding. • Pick up some air dry clay (like kids use) and make something with it that feels good and is fun to look at. • Scribble on a piece of paper until there is something there which stares back at you. • Make a mask to wear today and go outside for an hour. Just wander. • FaceTime or Zoom a friend and watch each other draw something at the same time for 15 minutes. • Think of the worst art you've ever seen and try to do something worse.

  • Olivia Hermonot artist
    Olivia Hermonot (@OliviaHermonot)
    02/06/2021 @ 12:42pm

    Usually looking at other artist's work gets me inspired to create some of my own. I get sort of jealous that other people are creating but I'm not, if that makes sense haha. I have been in a motivated mood lately so I joined this website hoping that the challenges and prompts will keep me going.

  • Caede artist
    Caede (@S4V4N7THETECH)
    02/06/2021 @ 7:56pm

    Due to depression I have a hard time feeling motivated also. What I like to do is browse through things about art on pinterest, or twitter. See what others have made, and get ideas from that.

  • Georgina artist
    Georgina (@georginamoonart)
    02/11/2021 @ 12:05pm

    I have been feeling exactly the same. Then I joined a sketchbook challenge for the whole of January. A prompt was emailed to me every day, and you could upload your work to a Facebook page. I found this kept me motivated, it gave me something to do each day, and everyone in the group was supportive. I’m sad it has ended, but I’m looking for my next challenge!

  • ClassyCat artist
    ClassyCat (@ClassyCat)
    02/16/2021 @ 5:53pm

    I personally tend to try different challenges or ask friends for suggestions who also enjoy being artistic. Remember to always keep an open mind with art, and try different techniques and styles as well. Push the boundary on your comfort zone. Another thing you can do is to start drawing whatever first comes to mind. It could be anything, even something silly.

  • Billie Devlin artist
    Billie Devlin (@BillieXLove)
    02/19/2021 @ 9:29pm

    I just wanted to thank all of you for your comments. I have been trying multiple challenges and some peaceful exercises to calm my nerves. I have also tried some of the other suggestions, but it was a nice experience to view what others did during these times. I wish you all the best of luck for the future, and again, thank you! @zom18 @inkdote @SedonaEquineArt @bleuhope @David50Wilson @Artisme @jqln @TealSplash @CarlaCryptic @OliviaHermonot @S4V4N7THETECH @georginamoonart @ClassyCat

  • Brent Skillicorn artist
    Brent Skillicorn (@KekoaART) Plus Member
    03/07/2021 @ 4:46pm

    I have struggled with this (like everyone else) and it took me about 2 years (been drawing for 2.5) to find a few things that significantly helped me and I'd like to share. 1) daily schedule - I am more right brained and like to see how I feel etc but realized I need to plan so my brain can anticipate my "quality free time" which means ppl won't keep bugging me! So the was more than making my own creative schedule because I had to convince my family to give me space and they really did not understand etc so it took a couple of years. I could have tried to leave the house and draw or put my phone on do not disturb (can't turn it off in case of emergency). My schedule is pretty basic: 90 minutes of work and then 30 min break. If I follow this from 8:00 - 2:00 I can get 4.5 hours of work and 1.5 hours for breaks and set up, clean up etc. 2) "Draw, don't think!" i dont think this mantra would work for everyone but I over analyze and can get stuck in an endless loop of planning or this could be nice but then again the grass is greener here etc. I found myself sitting with my journal in an anxious state and one day I just started drawing instead. This doe not mean I will now make good art but I just needed to get moving and make a mark on the paper and go from there. Eventually I can get into the flow state and from there I feel better and things make more sense. 3) prompts - I need to do more of these myself but structure and limitations can be a good thing. I like to draw random shapes and try to make them into something; the way I dont have pressure to make nice shapes; I literally make them with my eyes closed. Once I am in the act of making art; my attitude improves and I have more clarity. 4) just finish it - this is common but I can get the why am I doing this; no one is going to like this; I'll just quit and start a new drawing. I have to ignore this and finish the darn drawing. I see it like lifting weights and planning to do 10 reps and getting to 8 and saying, that's good enough.

  • GLB artist
    GLB (@GBsNightmare)
    03/23/2021 @ 10:35pm

    I would say tracing someone else’s art or trying something new, a new style maybe. I, when I am trying to figure out how to draw something, I look at other people’s art and see what they did.

  • kanaiyah ward artist
    kanaiyah ward (@tigger)
    04/14/2021 @ 10:07am

    go on google, Pinterest, etc and look up drawing ideas. or look on here at what other people did ask for permission if you intend to post it or give it to someone even then create it into your own

  • kanaiyah ward artist
    kanaiyah ward (@tigger)
    05/25/2021 @ 10:10am

    I think I like watching movies and especially animated movies. Keep a sketchbook to record your ideas Do small thumbnails on a regular basis. Take a break for like an hour or maybe 30 minutes, Or listen to music, like while I'm thirteen and a half I like to listen to goofy goober while I am drawing then sometimes I draw using my cats and dog Cain(dog) and Tigger(cat).i like to watch a movie and draw too

  • kanaiyah ward artist
    kanaiyah ward (@tigger)
    05/25/2021 @ 10:16am

    I used to struggle with this too! I'd recommend keeping a sketchbook or notebook I find that the song Aston Martin music helps too by Drake and Rick Ross for some reason it just snaps me out of that art block

  • Surmeet Kaur artist
    Surmeet Kaur (@SurmeetKaur)
    05/30/2021 @ 11:17am

    what helps me get out of the artist's block is watching some animated movie, esp. ones from Pixar. Their movies have tons of amazing characters and of course, their perfection in colours and plot of the movies is what sparks my imagination and motivates me to design something alike. another thing you can try is to practice drawing any artwork of some other artist whose works you like. drawing someone else's work in your own hand ( for practice's sake) helps you internalize the ideas better.

  • kanaiyah ward artist
    kanaiyah ward (@tigger)
    06/17/2021 @ 10:08am

    breathe and know it will pass take a break change up your creative space socialize with your loved ones go for a walk

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