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 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
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