Art Hours 401-450: How not to beat art block
(If you're looking for a helpful tip ... find pretty pictures, draw them as practise until the real inspiration returns. That's what I did to find a header image for this post.)
In order to compensate for all the helpful posts out there, here is a list of things that definitely will not help you whatsoever ... a.k.a. a list of things you need to avoid.
Binge-reading helpful posts about art block.
Here's the bitter truth: I have never read a post that was convincing enough to make me pick up a pen right at that moment. And thus, even though being well-meaning, these posts will serve as further procrastination. Furthermore, success stories about getting over block will not build up your confidence when you cannot manage the same.
If you do binge-read helpful posts however, make sure to compile a list of tips and take notes as you go through different blocks.
Play unending games.
Yes, I know, Minecraft is amazing. Let's be honest though, you will not stop once you've built that cellar. Neither will you stop after beating that one level of Candy Crush. Or solving that one SuDoku. (I have only done two of these three things!)
Find a game that puts an automatic limit on what you do. A point-and-click adventure that has an actual ending. Or a racing game where you will finish one race season. Or a puzzle game without unlimited levels. Whatever you do to distract yourself, pick something that has an actual end.
Seriously, don't even start with this. Eating because you're frustrated only leads to more eating because you're frustrated that you ate so much.
Do some exercising instead. This will keep you healthy, you can't do it forever so you will have to start with the art eventually, and maybe it will even be annoying enough for you to not even try but do art anyway.
Watching something is actually fun and may help you to get inspired. But there are many things you can do wrong, so here are a few tips.
- Pick a short show. Do not watch something that has been running for 50 years and hundreds of episodes. (Hello, Doctor Who!)
- Make sure to create some show-inspired art after your show has ended. Don't go straight into the next show.
- Don't watch too many episodes per day, even when binge-ing. Headaches aren't great for either art or watching things.
Sorting your pencils by colour or number.
I know, this is fun. It looks pleasing and satisfying afterwards. It makes for pretty Instagram pictures.
It is also spectacularly useless for actually doing art. Use your pencils instead of sorting them!
Deleting / Burning old art
When you're frustrated with your art, it can be disheartening to look at older art that was even worse. But trust me on this, you will want to keep it. Seeing the progress you've made is cool; close that folder and focus on a nice art book instead.
REALLY? How desperate are you? Do some art already!!! (Clean later anyway.)