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November 2, 2012
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Overcoming that mental block or that lack of inspiration can be extremely hard! :( I would like this to be the beginning of something to help all types of artists and hobbyists to overcome that barrier and continue to do what it is that calls you.
Your art work is a form of self-expression. Every piece that you create is unique to you, I ask that you appreciate even what you think may be the worst piece ever as that (a unique piece of you).

1.) As a rule of thumb—never throw out anything that you create, no matter how bad you think it is. In some way, you have learned from it, you can look back at it later and it may serve as inspiration to recreate it with all that you have recently learned and it may be your next masterpiece. In the very least, you may look at it later on and that piece that you created and thought was so horrible will show you just how far you have really come.

2. ) Keep a folder on your computer of work that has always served to inspire you. If this work has inspired you before, it may inspire you again later.

3.) Blank paper, blank canvas, an empty memory card on the camera—it is all very intimidating. The blinking cursor at the top of MS Word is intimidating. Your mind is blank and you’re sitting there “I want to draw”, “I want to write”, “I want to paint”, “I want to take pictures”, “I want to create”—same question “But what?”—just start anywhere… just start typing, writing, painting, drawing, taking pictures—you will end up with something, at the very least a bunch of lines, colors, photos, something you can go through and say “at least I accomplished something” instead of hours going by and you are still staring at nothing. It is better to start somewhere and have something, than start nowhere and have nothing.

4.) There will be something there blocking you… if you can write it out, dump that negative energy… like a journal. Let it go. Some people can do it through their own forms of art, others, this will serve as a block…

Famous artists that inspire me: Picasso (everybody knows of him), Hilary Brace (charcoal), Robert Longo (charcoal) – These are only a few…
Here on DeviantArt: PixieCold pixiecold.deviantart.com/ … Sandara sandara.deviantart.com/ -- Only a couple here, too. I’m not giving them all away just yet :D

And… some food for thought:
“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery. I don’t think people are born artists; I think it comes from a mixture of your surroundings, the people you meet, and luck.” ~ Francis Bacon

“ I constantly have to negotiate with my doubts.” ~ Peter Doig

If you don’t think that you can do something—it is all the more reason to try! I have accomplished some of my best works through doubting myself and fighting that doubt to do it anyways.

Please, share with the group who inspires you, what inspires you, and how you get past those mental blocks. I know how hard it can be when your mind is blank and something blank is staring you in the face. I hope this blog is the first of many to help keep our creative juices flowing and our burning passion for our artistic ability going. Thank you all for reading and let me know what you think! :D
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:iconludemagik:
LudeMagik Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Great article, this reminds me of all the pics that made thier way to the trash bin and makes me wish I wouldv'e kept all my pics from high school when I was a better artist.
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:iconsaidorak:
Saidorak Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is quite a nice idea!

What inspires me varies greatly. When drawing, I get inspired by themes and words, by seasons, by TV shows. For example I love The Legend of Zelda: when I play it, think about it, or look at art/cosplay of it, I get inspired to draw my own pieces. Music is also a great piece of inspiration: different moods of songs can help motivate me into drawing!
When writing, I watch TV shows or again, listen to songs, who always inspire me in some ways!
Browsing dA for pictures can be helpful too.
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:iconslug22:
Slug22 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
I often start a sketch with just a squiggly line, see what it looks like. And with a manipulation I just make a start... once I am working all sorts of things come to me :D
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:iconbutterflymyworld:
Butterflymyworld Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
I always try to change my style a bit; even if it's just making manga-eyes bigger or smaller or making boys instead of girls, it gives a bit of space to your mind.
You could also just start scribbling, and try to see something unusual in it (''Hey! An elephant with a tophat.''). That's also for some room in your head.

Overcoming an art block is basically giving some room to yourself c:
Go for a stroll, a shower, anything that relaxes you, that'll help as well.
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:iconlocoleader:
Locoleader Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Personally, i get my inspiration to write from watching other ameture writers here on Deviant Art. I can't look at someon, like Stephen King, who is already famous and be inspired. However, when i see a deviant, who is start at the same place i am, I'll watch them. Over time, i'll see them develope their craft and grow into better writers. That'll inspire me enough to get my act together and start working on my own writing.

And as far as writers block goes, I overcome it by working on multiple projects at once. I am currently working on 5 different stories. When i get a mental block on one of them, i jump to another. When i get stuck on that story, i jump to another and i'll just keep doing jumping from one to another. This way, not only am i giving myself a little break from my primary story, but it also keeps me writing and it keeps my imagination active. So, when i finally get back to the story i was orginally working on, i'll have a couple of new idea that i can use in it.

Also, thanks for writing this journal. It helps out alot :)
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:iconzagiri:
Zagiri Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Ah, Leonardo Da Vinci... Forever will he be one of my greatest inspirations. <3 Traveling from Italy to France and back learning art...

One of the things he did that I go by for breaking artist block is "the little book of leaves", which is basically just a sketch book, where he puts down ideas, sketches and various other information and ideas. Things like sketch dumps are great things to put in one's own book of leaves, as you may look at that later and say, "I can do something with this pose!" or "I know EXACTLY how I can execute this piece!".

Something else I've found that takes care of my artist block is listening to critique. Once I find my weaknesses through critique, I tend to go back and work on those weaknesses in various art pieces. For example, one of my major weaknesses is facial anatomy. Now I'm planning out portraits to practice on that in particular.

On the opposite note, noticing what people like best in your artwork is another good way to break the block. If you've found your portraits get more attention than your landscapes, maybe trying to stretch the limits of what you do portrait wise can break the block. Go look at various other portraits, find inspiration, try to see faces in walls and trees. Then come back, and wow the world with an excelled version of something the world has already applauded. Knowing and embracing your strengths can be just as important as acknowledging and working with your weaknesses.
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:iconjoshuahartesq:
joshuahartesq Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Thanks for sharing this! It's very positive and strikes a few chords. I've found that writing about what is easy though boring perhaps, or more linear, not fictional at all, like I've done in my journals here, has allowed me to 'see' how to actually write the next step. I thought I couldn't write, but it was because I was thinking what I think about is not worth writing about, or at best, too complex. The simple first step of writing what I'm passionate about not only got me seeing better how to incorporate my ideas fictionally but got me thinking better about myself and my future, as well as everyone else, ....as things usually go when we think better of ourselves..:)

I totally agree with the importance of applying one's self to that which they think they can't do....it frees you :)
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:iconchaosfay:
ChaosFay Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Journals have always helped me. I have journals going back over 10 years, but I burn them when they hit the ten year mark if there's nothing significant in them. The newer ones, from the last 6 years, are decorated inside and out by me. I collage them. I find pictures that inspire me, print/cut/tear them out, and glue/tape/staple them into my journals. Never lose them that way. Using composition books, which are REALLY low cost, are the way to go for this because they can take a beating. I know mine do. If I'm feeling a block I'll go through all the stuff I've collected and make a collage book. Within a few hours I find myself free of that blockage and able to let things flow.

Another thing that has helped is simply walking away. If I'm creating something and become frustrated the first thing I want to do is toss it out. So...I walk away and come back a few days later with fresh eyes. It makes such a HUGE difference. I work in tradition and craft mediums, the only digital part being scans and pictures of the finished pieces.

One thing my husband has done for me is taking me to tattoo parlors. Looking through the portfolios really helps a lot. I have a passion for color and seeing colorful pieces helps a lot. It's one of the reasons I go to local (free admission) galleries, museums, and gardens.

Even though I'm no photographer I'll carry my camera with me to take pictures of interesting patterns and stuff for use later in a jewelry design or a painting.

Worse comes to worst I go for a walk and avoid my studio like the plague, and read a book at the local park or something.
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:iconcaen-n:
Caen-N Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Artist block, inspiration and art making motivation comes and goes like seasons, and as artists we need to understand this and accept it. There are ways to move through and make it rain so to speak but it is all part of being an artist.

I think those tips are relevant and good to remember. A lot of the art making process - most of the art making process is no making and rather looking at art and everything else.
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:iconsarahlovesart:
sarahLOVESart Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i sometimes get stuck on what to draw but what i normally do is put on a tv programe or put on film or browse through the internet for ideas.sometimes i just doddle like little cartoons and sometimes i do drawings which take me a few hours to complete but each and every drawing i do no matter how bad or good it is i put it in my drawing folder :) i am nerlly on my 2 folder :D i will need more plastic wallets soon lol :)
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