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Artist's Block and How to Beat It.

Every artist, no matter their medium, encounters creative roadblocks from time to time. Colored pencil artists are no exception. Whether you're just starting your artistic journey or have been creating with colored pencils for years, artist's block can be a frustrating obstacle to overcome. In this blog, I'll explore some effective strategies to help you break through that mental barrier and keep your colored pencil art flowing.

Understanding Artist's Block

Before we jump into strategies to overcome artist's block, it's essential to understand what it is. Artist's block, also known as creative block, is a condition where an artist experiences a temporary inability to create new work or come up with fresh ideas. It can manifest as a lack of inspiration, motivation, or confidence in your abilities.

Fortunately, there are ways to combat this common challenge.

1. Change Your Environment

Sometimes, all it takes to overcome artist's block is a change of scenery. Step outside, visit a park, or simply rearrange your workspace. A different environment can stimulate your senses and trigger new ideas. Take a sketchbook with you and capture the beauty of the world around you with your colored pencils. I personally like to take some time outside, or even just take a rest day.This means I will work on tying up loose ends in other areas of my life. This could be phone calls I have been putting off or errands I need too take care of- cause lets face it- sometimes artist block happens when we ignore other areas of our life and the mental stress of it piles up in our subconscious. So get those loose ends tied up!

2. Experiment with New Techniques

Colored pencil art offers a wide range of techniques to explore. When you're stuck in a rut, try something new. Experiment with blending techniques, layering colors, or working on different paper surfaces. The act of learning and mastering new techniques can be both rewarding and inspiring. When you try different pencils or even surfaces you could find that missing key to your journey and your "level up". I used to be scared to try new surfaces or pencils- because I get comfortable- but we should most definitely allow ourselves this wonderful option to further our minds and careers!

3. Create a Routine

Establishing a regular creative routine can help prevent artist's block from taking hold in the first place. Dedicate a specific time each day or week to your colored pencil art. Having a routine can make the process feel more habitual and less daunting. Being a stay at home mom this is something that I HAD to make happen. My schedule had to consist of what I could complete when the kids were home versus when hey weren't home. So naturally the house chores can wait- because if I worked for others my dishes would be sitting regardless!

4. Seek Inspiration in Everyday Life

Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. Pay attention to the colors, patterns, and textures around you. Explore your hobbies, read books, watch movies, or even take a walk. Often, the ideas you need are hiding in plain sight. I personally love to touch outside textures, smoosh my dogs face and pet my cats- If i'm feeling a bit unmotivated. We won't talk about all the terrible dancing and poor singing that I also engage in. My dog loves my awful singing by the way- I think he thinks its for him!

5. Collaborate and Share

Don't hesitate to share your work with fellow artists or join art communities, whether in person or online. Collaborating with others or seeking feedback can provide fresh perspectives and encourage you to push your creative boundaries. Just recently I took a trip to Maine USA and I was able to visit an artist festival that I enjoyed SO much! Seeing all of the different styles as well as the different products that they offered was extremely helpful in my own journey. Get out and talk to other artists!

6. Start with Small Projects

If you're overwhelmed by the thought of a large, intricate colored pencil artwork, start small. Begin with a simple sketch or a mini-project. The feeling of accomplishment from completing smaller tasks can boost your confidence and motivation to tackle larger projects.

7. Embrace Imperfection

Remember that not every piece of art needs to be perfect. Embrace the imperfections, as they often lead to unexpected and unique results. Let go of the pressure to create a masterpiece every time you pick up your colored pencils.

8. Take Breaks

Finally, if you're feeling frustrated or stuck, don't be afraid to take a break. Stepping away from your artwork for a while can give you a fresh perspective when you return. It can also help you see differently with a little rest. I tend to dream about different approaches. I will think all day how I'm going to dive into a complicated area. I also will take frequent breaks if I find myself rushing or feeling unmotivated. whether you want to believe it or not- unmotivation or a loss of interest can shine through in your work or even give you a warped view of it. So stepping aside can help with this!

In conclusion, artist's block is a common challenge that every colored pencil artist faces at some point. However, with the right strategies and mindset, you can break through the block and continue to create beautiful and inspiring colored pencil art. Remember that the creative journey is just as important as the finished product, so enjoy the process and keep those colored pencils sharp, and moving across the paper. Happy creating!

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