The road to creativity can be a bumpy one...there will be times of great improvement and other times of plateaus and even some setbacks. It's unrealistic to think that everything you make will be great all the time...that's a lot of pressure to put on yourself. Where's the fun in that?
As an artist, my mentality is that I am a perpetual student. This mindset helps me to not be so hard on myself when ugly art happens. I have made tons of ugly art. That ugly art is the road that I must travel to get to the other side and see improvement again. The worst thing about the ugly art or plateau phase of painting is the self discouraging thoughts that accompany it.
Here are a few things you can do when you hit that artistic wall.
- Go go a gallery and get inspired.
- Watch Vlogs from your favorited artists to pick up some new methods and tips.
- Take a class from an artist whose work you admire.
- Use your ugly art to cut loose...it's already ugly, may as well have fun with it!
- Gesso over it and start over...no loss.
- Make ugly art on purpose.
- Repurpose it use it to work on practicing values or how to render textures.
- Start another painting and come back to it another day. Many times it's not bad, its just not finished yet. Put it away and look at it later with a fresh eyes.
Keep in mind that anything of value is worth the effort, and if it were easy, everyone would do it. Time spent working on your craft is never wasted time. The most important thing to remember is to not give up, you will get past it...keep the faith and allow yourself to enjoy the journey. Your best work is yet to come!
Do you have any strategies to overcoming artist block? Please share them with us.