Artist Block and Artist Inspiration
Examples of Doodles and CollagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
If you spend much time practicing art, then you have probably suffered from artist block at some time or another. It is a really frustrating feeling to want to create, but you just can't seem to get either the ideas going, or you have the ideas, you just can't get yourself going! I have suffered from both of these scenarios, and have found a couple of ways to overcome it.
One of my remedies is to doodle. It engages the right brain, which is the part of the brain that deals with all things creative. I have included some doodles from the internet as examples, and sometimes, just looking at others doodles is enough to get the creative juices flowing again. Other times, if you will begin to doodle yourself, you will then move into producing the artwork you are wanting to accomplish!
Other times, you may need a bit more to get those juices flowing, and that is where collage can be so helpful. One trick is to get a magazine, turn it upside down, and choose your pictures quickly by just glancing at them. This way, your eyes and brain don't have time to engage with the photograph, and you will be amazed at the images you come up with. After selecting your photos and tearing them out, then go about the creative part of fitting the images together to form a collage. I think you will be surprised at how them photos end up going together. This is a fast and simple way to get "unstuck" and on the road to being creative again.
Another trick that helps me is to create "found poetry". If you don't know what this is, you can look up the definition on the internet. Basically, it is words chosen from a pre-printed text in an old magazine or book you no longer want. You choose single words from the page, circle them, and mark out all the other words on the page. You may end up with a found poem that reads, "Lost, gone, child, of, my heart", or something similar. Whatever words you end up choosing, this can be a great creativity starter, even if you are not into poetry and writing so much. Anything that engages the right side of our brain will stimulate the artistic and creative process! Even if you aren't much into writing or poetry, this can be a great exercise for the right side of your brain.
Other times, we can't get started no matter what we do. Life may simply be too cluttered at the moment for us to relax and be creative. Actually this is the time when it would be the most healthy for us to be creative! We all need the healthy balance of using both the right and left sides of our brain, which means we need a balance of creativity as well as the logical and problem solving part of our brain to be engaged as well. If we can find a healthy balance, we are much happier people.
The next time you find yourself stuck artistically and perhaps frustrated, try doodling, collaging or creating found poetry. None of these take a large amount of energy, and the end result can be heightened overall creative output from you. Let me know how these ideas work for you!