Why You Should Draw When You Can't Draw Anything
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Art Advice Issue #6 - Dealing with Art Block
There's something really important to keep in mind: "Art Block" is a mental state, and, as such, it is temporary and you can overcome it! The term "art block" is misleading, because it makes you think it has one definition, when, in fact, it is a term used to refer to several quite different situations. Here, we'll talk about the different types of art block and how to overcome them.  TYPE 1 - I WANT TO DRAW, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT! This is the easiest type of art block to deal with. DRAW ANYTHING! It doesn't have to be something spectacular; drawing an object on your desk or in your room will do; it will help you break out of this art bloc
How I face lack of creativity
Introduction - you can skip this part but if you do that you are a bad person...First of all I'm going to spend few words on my situation. I live with my parents (I'm almost 21) and they don't like that I'm putting so much effort in studying art, because they think is a loss of time and there are more important things. I've started an illustration school but with their wise words - sorry for the sarcarsm but everything will be explained later - they drive me thinking to start a work and put the study of art as the last thing to do. I'm working 30h per week, not too much but I'm an I.T. developer - so I'm a great part of the day in front of a
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By Arasteia   |   Watch
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Published: December 12, 2017
How many times has this happened to you?
You're suddenly struck with an urge to draw or write, but when you sit down, nothing happens? Or you might be scrolling through dA and looking at all these amazing pieces and wanting so badly to do something of your own, but you just can't bring yourself to  begin? You're not alone. 

Every creator ever has gone or will go through periods of art or writer's block. It's just something that happens. For this reason the most important thing, before you do anything else, is to remember that it doesn't mean you're a bad creator.  You're not unskilled, you're not getting worse, and it certainly doesn't mean you're never going to be able to draw or write again. Having block does not invalidate you as a creator :) (Smile) In fact at this point, it's almost a rite of passage! But don't ever think that having block means you're bad at what you do.

So. You're blocked. You're probably feeling pretty terrible, quite possibly about your work. One of the things most likely to cause art block for me is being too critical of my art. I start feeling like I should be making faster progress, like everything I do is fatally flawed, like my skill hasn't got better and is never going to go anywhere. These are probably pretty familiar thoughts, right? But I can tell you right now, they're not true, and probably one of the best ways of proving this to yourself is to look back on your old art.
If you hear this and immediately don't want to because you think your old art is terrible, then congratulations - you've just proven that your art has gotten better.
You have made progress, you are getting better, and you shouldn't be afraid :) If you didn't think this, or you need further reinforcement, then don't worry - it's time to look back at your old work. Anything from a few months to several years, you'll likely be able to see the difference just comparing them side by side. Your newer stuff probably just overall looks or reads better! Then look closer - notice improvements in specifics like colouring, lighting, composition, anatomy, linework, texturing. 
The same goes for writing, but instead look at sentence structure, paragraph flow, imagery, word choice.
You are you, and nobody else, and the only art you can compare yours to is your old art - not something that anyone else has drawn. Your work has come a very long way, and it'll continue to go further if just you keep at it - so there's no time to give up!

Something else that might help to figure out exactly what might be bugging you about your art. I can tell you right now, no matter where you might be in your journey, your work is worth it.
Being able to pinpoint exactly what makes you feel uncomfortable about your work can really help in feeling a sense of purpose - lacking direction can definitely cause art block. It'll be stuff like I mentioned up above - colouring, lighting, composition, anatomy, etc. Last time I had a major problem with my art, I realised it was because I was using colours incorrectly. I was able to work towards amending that issue and it really helped me become more comfortable with where my art is going. 
If you can't see it yourself, you can always ask someone else! Sometimes all you need is a fresh pair of eyes! (NOTE: I'm happy to lend one of these, if you need it! I'm no expert but I'm always happy to give my opinion to those who ask :) )
Knowing exactly what you'd like to improve can really help your confidence in your art as well as your motivation to keep pushing and achieve your goals! Because believe me, you can achieve them!
Pretty much any level of skill in art is attainable if you're willing to work for it. Every great creator - every single one - started off where you are now, and probably had the exact same fears, doubts and dreams that you have. And you can bet they went through art or writer's block, just like you, and probably did it many, many times before they got to where they are today.

So just look at block like another feather in your cap. Just one more step towards where you want to be. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and this block won't be the death of you either.


So, now you know why you should push through your art block, how exactly do you find ways to beat it? I've got you covered in the second part of this series - What To Draw When You Can't Draw Anything

Created at simplydevio.us
Recommended Journals
Art Advice Issue #6 - Dealing with Art Block
There's something really important to keep in mind: "Art Block" is a mental state, and, as such, it is temporary and you can overcome it! The term "art block" is misleading, because it makes you think it has one definition, when, in fact, it is a term used to refer to several quite different situations. Here, we'll talk about the different types of art block and how to overcome them.  TYPE 1 - I WANT TO DRAW, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT! This is the easiest type of art block to deal with. DRAW ANYTHING! It doesn't have to be something spectacular; drawing an object on your desk or in your room will do; it will help you break out of this art bloc
How I face lack of creativity
Introduction - you can skip this part but if you do that you are a bad person...First of all I'm going to spend few words on my situation. I live with my parents (I'm almost 21) and they don't like that I'm putting so much effort in studying art, because they think is a loss of time and there are more important things. I've started an illustration school but with their wise words - sorry for the sarcarsm but everything will be explained later - they drive me thinking to start a work and put the study of art as the last thing to do. I'm working 30h per week, not too much but I'm an I.T. developer - so I'm a great part of the day in front of a
[OPEN] 1400+ Watchers Raffle
This is long since due Sorry it took me so long but here I ammmmm How to join - Be a watcher (new ones welcome) - Use the keyword somewhere in the journal in your comment - Share this raffle in a journal/poll and link it in your comment How to get tickets - Tag up to 5 people +1 each - 1 thing you like about my art/why you watch me +1 - Link your most abstract meme +2 8 MAX tickets per person <<Keyword: stonks>> First place 1 Painted bust 1 flat color halfbody Second place 1 Cellshade halfbody ~~Ends July 6~~
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Comments (66)
IceDragon64's avatar
As one who has been through this many times, I endorse this advice!
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you agree! :D 
Reply  ·  
J4B's avatar
J4B|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like this journal.
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm really glad to hear that! 
Reply  ·  
ravusWolf's avatar
the motivation I needed 
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm really glad it helped :)
Reply  ·  
ravusWolf's avatar
=D
Reply  ·  
Menendez93's avatar
Menendez93|Student Digital Artist
nice
motivation found¡¡
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to hear it! :D
Reply  ·  
Liswyn's avatar
Liswyn|Hobbyist General Artist
This is really helpful!! Thanks a lot!!

Some time later I'll take some time to peek in your gallery, can't do so right now because I'm at work, heh

You seem to be an amazing artist and a kind human being, I'm happy that this kind of people still exist around DeviantART! :D
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah I'm really glad it helped! ^^
And thank you so much, hope you like it :D
Aaaa you're too kind! Thank you again :)
Reply  ·  
KingOfWarlocks's avatar
KingOfWarlocks|Hobbyist General Artist
This is a truth like a cow, as one of my local sayings goes. (i live in the Netherlands, so you've probably never heard of it),
I've experienced this myself a few times, and still have it with a bunch of unfinished characters and stories. Sometimes when i don't have homework, i want to continue on one of those works but often i can't manage to get something on paper, which isn't great for my motivation. But these bits of wisdom turn that around, and i'm sure that it can reinvigorate other artists as well. 

I will gladly keep this around in my favorites and look back at it whenever it is needed, and share it with those that are mentally blocked like that as well.
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha nope can't say I have heard of that one, but I like it :D
I'm really glad you find that this helps, thank you so much! :)
Reply  ·  
KingOfWarlocks's avatar
KingOfWarlocks|Hobbyist General Artist
glad to hear it!
no problem! you are very welcome :)
Reply  ·  
Laurapuppy's avatar
Laurapuppy|Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, just what I needed. Great words. Will try with both, writing and drawing. Thank you!!
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah I'm really glad to hear it! Thanks so much, and you're very welcome! 
Reply  ·  
Mmkaay's avatar
Mmkaay|Student Digital Artist
Interesting fact---the Greeks believed that lack of creativity and the inability to create was the cause of muses leaving the artist. Meaning, it was not the artist's fault they could not create. The godesses flowed and went as they pleased.

Real great journals here thankyou.
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah that is really interesting! And thank you, it's my pleasure ^^ 
Reply  ·  
Dzulkifli27's avatar
Hey Aris, kinda of having a heavy block right now and being pretty withdrawn from everything, so when you post this journal, it kinda like a fresh air to me. It's kinda hard when you're doing some paintings halfway and then suddenly the inspirations is gone and you can't progress on it, even though it's almost finish. Even trying to do some simple sketches/doodles turns out to be just like some incomprehensible scribbles and mess.
I think the problem I'm facing is probably quite the opposite; thinking that the past work is better and it's a baggage I need to discard. For me personally, the direction of the art itself is important and probably I've to look within to find my direction again. However I still holding up my pen and keep o putting ink on the blank paper. Seriously all artist will learn to respect the blank paper at one point in their journey:)

I've just found a good video here, perhaps it'll help too, it does give me some food for thoughts:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lTcgS…

Thanks Aris for putting this up, hopefully I won't feel like I'm helplessly drowning and could finally raise my head again.
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah I'm sorry to hear that! I really hope you get past that soon. And yeah, that can be a big issue too, thinking your art has gone downhill. It most likely hasn't though, you're just looking at it with newer, more experienced eyes! :) It's awesome that you're sticking with it though, don't give up! :hug:
Ah unfortunately my internet is too slow to watch videos XD But I'm sure it's really great and I'll check it out when I can! 
You're most welcome, I hope so too! 
Reply  ·  
Dzulkifli27's avatar
Looking at it with a newer, more experience eye? Never really thought about it that way. 
Yeah you're right, it's just like walking on a muddy field right now, but eventually you'll get out of it so long as you don't stop.

It's ok Aris, here is another good one, but yeah you could look at it later with a better internet. There were other good video there too so you could watch them:)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTkN8B…
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha yes you're right! ^^ Don't stop!
Ah thank you, I'll be sure to check them out once I can!
Reply  ·  
JessiRoseArt's avatar
JessiRoseArt|Hobbyist General Artist
this is so well written~ I've had block many times before for weeks/months. But now I'm finding that doing at least something even a tiny doodle does help kinda make it go away and, personally, keeps me in "art mode." Like, if I don't draw for one day, it becomes two, and two becomes 4 days, and then weeks, then months and so on. 
and, i do the same thing -- i'm way critical about my art.
Reply  ·  
Arasteia's avatar
Arasteia|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh thank you so much ^^ 
And yes definitely! Just small doodles can really go a long way, especially when yeah, you feel like you might stop for too long ^^ And yeah haha that sounds pretty familiar XD But we can't let being critical stop us! CURSE YOU! 
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