A very common term used in the art community called an ‘art block’, or even ‘creative block’, is used to describe a state of mind when an artist cannot create anything new out of their imagination and feels like they have drawn everything they can think of.
It’s a situation I have personally come across a fair few times in my life till now. The first time I felt this frustration built up inside me was back in high school when I used to write more short stories and fan-fictions. Maybe I was extremely stressed because of my exams and tests that I couldn’t concentrate on writing that much and it sent me down a downward spiral where I actually abandoned my fanfic for years. I always think about going back but I have grown up so much, if I do start that again, I would have to change so much because I do not agree with a lot of things I believed in five years ago.
Similarly, I have felt that for my art as well. The difference being I made sure I keep pushing myself every day, no matter what. When you let that stagnation get the best of you, it’s hard to resume to normal situations. I’ve read so many blogs that tell you many good things that you can try to help yourself such as taking mind off your artwork and de-stressing without having the fear that you need to post. I know a lot of us, put self-inflicted pressure on our own shoulders to continuously draw more and post more but truthfully, you have not made an unbreakable-vow to do that.
Your skills won’t disappear if you take a week off. It’s always good to take it easy on things that require you to think out of the box, imagine something new in your mind and put it on paper. We all should be more forgiving to ourselves.
However, if you are still worried that you might lose your progress then between the time you post original artwork, you can practice your skills by just indulging yourself in some fanart work or one of those ‘Draw this in your style’ challenges. I do that a lot because they are so fun. You get to rest your mind and just practice. A best of both worlds.
One good example I saw was that people suggested that you can redraw screenshots of your favourite show or even redraw your old art to showcase your progress. I want to share my experience with this, just a few months back I attempted to draw for 30 days, with no breaks. The positive thing that came out of it was that I learned so many new skills. The best part was, I actually finished 30 drawings by the end. However, it took me 33 days to finish instead of 30, I think that is a win-win situation for me.
After ending those 30 days. I took a break, about four days before I started another goal which was to drew 30 fanarts but this time I didn’t give myself a deadline. I have to draw it but I am not bound to it. I did stick to it and drew lots of fanarts but again I reached a point where I felt the immediate need to draw original things. It had been so long since I drew something from my imagination that I actually felt an itch in my hands.
Taking all of this in retrospect, the most appropriate path to take would be a well balanced on. You don’t want to walk on one where you have to continuously buy your own gravel to build your path, there will be times when you have to pass through pathways from a neighboring town and that’s okay. In all this, the most important thing to do is to believe in yourself and in your creativity. Always look around, there is so much inspiration around us. And if you ever feel like giving up, come back and read this again. I believe in you! Don’t give up and continue doing your best! (^_^)
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