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Overcoming Artist Block

Updated on May 20, 2010

Go to your local gallery or museum

Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York.

Artist's block can shut down even the best and most prolific artist, but there are numerous ways to overcome it, if you will just push yourself to do it. We are always so fast to say, "I don't have time" or some other self-depriving thought process that we, as artists, need to have a ready arsenal of ideas to overcome the mindset. At least I do, lol!

As a result, I have come up with a few ideas that work for me and wanted to share them. Since this isn't a long list, I will get right to it-

1. Look to the internet.

The computer can inspire you in many ways, I have found that simply searching for and looking at other artists work can jump-start me when I am stuck. I may not actually look at the same technique of art that I am working on, but the simple act of viewing other's work really spurs on the creative ideas. Plus I usually find a new technique to incorporate into my project or for a project yet to be started!

2. Look at magazines, especially decorating and art magazines.

Like the internet, magazines can be a great source of inspiration. I get a magazine called "Southwest Art", and even if that isn't the type of art I am working on at the time, it helps me to view other's work.

3. Start another work, not in the same technique as the one you are stuck on.

This is one of the best answers for my own artists block. It seems that as I work on the new piece, the thoughts of the other are constantly running through my mind as well. I can't count the times that I have been "stuck" and while working on another project I hit on something and have to quit and go do it! I suppose some would call this "ADHD", lol!

4. Go to a museum.

This is probably the best idea of all, even though it involves taking more time and energy. Viewing great works of art is wonderful, even for those who don't actually create themselves. Try strolling along in the museum of your choice, taking time to completely relax and take in the quiet and beauty of the atmosphere. Much of what causes artist block is the noise and busyness of regular life. Giving your self a break from this can be healing to the spirit. Sit and look for awhile at a piece that really appeals to you. Notice the lines and details, along with the shading of the piece. If you love and create art, doing this can even make your own work better!

These are just a few tips to get you started again. Once you do get started, you can probably come up with a few ideas of your own. Be sure to share your ideas with your fellow artists, to help them as well. The world can never have enough art!

Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati Art Museum


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    • Laura Thykeson profile image

      Laura Thykeson 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Hello, hello:

      Thanks for reading and responding!

    • Laura Thykeson profile image

      Laura Thykeson 7 years ago from Central Texas


      Thank you for reading!

      Laura T.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for yur inspiring information.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 7 years ago from hub

      Yes, seeing what others are trying to sell out there, can be encouraging in itself. Thanks for the tips:)