If you’re like me, then you’ve likely experienced creative block at some point in your creative journey. You sit down to draw, but your mind is blank. Even after 10 years of drawing, I still experience this pesky feeling. But now, it doesn’t stay around for long. 🙂
I’m Tatyana Deniz. I teach artists like you how to draw using the cute and simple style of kawaii. Through my drawing practice, I came up with a 4-step process to help overcome creative block. And in this post I will share the process with you.
Follow these 4 steps, and you’ll be able to draw whenever you want to, instead of “waiting for inspiration”.
Step 1: Start by Looking at Lots of Images for Inspiration
The first step I take when I experience creative block is looking at lots of images for inspiration. For example, I would search on Pinterest with a broad term such as “flowers”. Then I would look at lots and lots of images of different flowers.
This way I am saturating my mind with lots of different shapes, colors, and visual representations of the “flower”. The idea is NOT to find an image to copy. Instead, we are giving our brain material to work with later.
You can save some of your favorite images to a board on Pinterest or to your computer. Maybe you loved the way the petals fold on this one. Or the shape of the leaves. But at this point, your main goal is just to look at the images and notice what you like and don’t like. Creative research is essential because creativity doesn’t come out of anywhere. To be creative is to find inspiration in objects that already exist.
One thing you can add to your daily ritual is to look at inspiring images daily. This article lists 50 websites for daily creative inspiration. The artist community is thriving, and there is lots of creative inspiration to be found!
Step 2: Take a Break
The next step when experiencing a creative block is to stand up and do a different activity. By getting up and stepping away, you’re giving your brain space to process what you’ve collected from your reference research.
A quick walk around the block is great! Or just taking a few breaths of air fresh air outside.
By exposing yourself to new surroundings, you’ll give your mind space to process your research and come back recharged and ready.
Ideally, if you have time, it would be good to finish your research and then start drawing the following day. But you might not always have that time — so take a little walk or hold a yoga pose. 🙂
Yoga ideas to overcome creative block
Whether beginner or expert, yoga is said to stimulate creativity when in certain poses. You can give this 16-pose yoga sequence a try and fire up your creative juices. Or just do 1 or 2 poses.
Step 3: Brain Dump Your Ideas
After giving your mind time to process your research and inspiration, it’s time to brain dump your drawing ideas. You want to just let the drawing ideas flow onto the paper (whether as a sketch or words) without judging them at all. Nothing is good or bad at this point. We are going for the volume.
You’re not deciding, “Is this idea a good idea or bad idea?” You’re listening, tuning in and pulling ideas you think of and putting them down on paper. Sketch, write, journal. Whichever way you can note down your ideas quickly.
If you’re a beginner, sketching your ideas might seem challenging. If this is the case, just write them down! Eventually, you’ll get to sketching them all out. Whatever your creative process is, use it. The key here is no judgment.
Step 4: Start Creating
When overcoming creative block, step 4 is where you start to judge and create. You begin by looking at all of the ideas that you’ve generated, and you’ll to start to eliminate the ones that don’t like.
Don’t overthink this step. First, eliminate ideas that definitely won’t work.
Then look at your shortlist, and start to compare. “Do I like this idea better or that idea?” Eliminate the one you like less.
Repeat this until you have 3 to 5 ideas left.
I recommend working with at least 3 ideas, and developing them further. This takes off the pressure of “what if it doesn’t work out”. If one idea doesn’t work out, you just use the next one.
Giving yourself this process and freedom prevents any creative block.
There you have it! 4 simple steps to help you overcome creative block. With these steps, you’ll be able to face creative block head-on and embrace it. Whatever you do, make sure to trust the process.
If you are looking for a fun drawing project, check out my cute Little Mermaid Ariel tutorial!
Become a Kawaiian!
Connect with other people learning to draw just like you. 🙂 Here you’ll find inspiration, a weekly drawing project, and lots of drawing ideas.
But most importantly, you will become a part of a vibrant, active community of Kawaiians who are here to support you and cheer you on. No one can do this alone. Let’s help each other!
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