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Your methods of combating the dreaded Block?

Skychickens

Late Healer Ferret
I’m not going through an artist block at the moment...I’m going through writer’s though. But that’s not really why I wanted to make this thread. I want a place where when you’re all blocked up...you have a place to look at techniques that don’t necessarily say “just keep trying!!!”

What I do when I’m blocking with my drawing is to do some studies. (Sometimes I even do studies for no reason or when I’m starting to feel insecure or just because.) I pick something I wish I was better at, paws, digi legs, hands, adding muzzles to faces, etc and use up a few pages of my sketchbook. I also usually just start hoarding pictures for reference. Reference is my friend.

Then I usually take a break for a few days. Let my mind rest. Then I come back again and try something else when it’s not so stressful.

For writing...well... I usually break until I can manage to get motivation, time, and energy to combine as it usually takes more of that than I can muster at once when I have to deal with life too. And then I try to find someone to share it with. That’s not helping much at the moment though. Sometimes I do challenges where I have to use some rules and prompts to go off of and that usually helps...for the duration of the challenge.

Sharing really helps me honestly. I don’t like keeping everything to myself when it comes to my artwork.
 

Fiorabeast

Always ill as hell
I just sleep or do other stuff and try not drawing for a while... then the urge to draw again comes. Drawing just scribbles helps too.
Other times, I just treat as 'Well, okay my brain is being finicky again... What kind of of new things can I get it running??' and draw something I haven't attempted before as what @Skychickens does (and THAT helps!)

For writing... since I use to be a writer also, I would just write a bunch of nonsensical and random stuff. How you are feeling, random made up words, etc. Or write the first thing that pops into your head and write (read: ramble) away without fixing things.
 

skeiths

pink poodle bby
i usually take a break, and don't force it. if i still feel like i want to make stuff, i'll get on instagram and look at the explore page or go back through my inspo tag on tumblr, or even get out of the house and go to a physical museum. i find that looking at other art and especially other kinds of media helps get me out of that funk.
 

Kopatropa

Drawing seriously since 2013
I focus on different hobbies. I wouldn't dare try to draw while the art block is in play; that's time wasted as I get nothing done.

I also don't see the point in drawing something you wouldn't normally draw while in a block; not only does that go against the whole "don't draw if you don't feel like it" thing, but if you were to draw something while under this block, you'd want it to look decent. But that's just me.
 

Lost2wolves

New Member
Forcefully make yourself do the thing. If it's art block, make art. It doesn't have to be good, in fact it'll probably be awful, but just get into the motion of art-ing. You might find something new to add to your style and it could be amazing. If it's writing and you have no inspiration to write, use writing prompts. MAKE THE STORY HAPPEN. It will be awful and you can burn it when it's done but you have to get it done first. Or it could be the best thing you ever wrote and you can put it on a shrine to the gods of good writing. Make it happen.
 
Art block doesn't exist. It's kind of just a meme that hobbyist/amateurs have come up with. It just means that you don't draw enough and don't have the muscle memory or knowledge to do something outside of your norm or expand on it and you've burnt yourself out. I have never seen a professional artist talk about experiencing art block. Show me a professional with art block to the point they can't draw, I'll show you a professional out of the job. I bet if drawing came with a paycheck the moment you picked up the pencil, you wouldn't have art block ever again. lol

The few times I experienced "art block", I would draw anyway. And wouldn't you know it? Something got made.
When you have "art block" (you don't) just go study and get more skills.

TL;DR Stop throwing yourself at a wall and find a new approach. Adapt and improve. Expand your tool set.
 

Kopatropa

Drawing seriously since 2013
I can't agree with this. And I'm a little bothered.

Personally, if I find myself with an art block, I drop art for a bit and do something else. Forcing myself to draw when I don't feel like it doesn't work for me as I'm someone who doesn't find pleasure in stressing myself out. And like I said, if I wanna draw something, I want it to look decent; anything lower is unacceptable in my book and gets destroyed.

I dunno how you guys find the strength to work through stress; I would LOVE to know.
Art block doesn't exist.
?????

Yes, it very much does. Art/Writer's block is generally when you run out of ideas, and temporarily lose all motivation to do anything related to it. It's a very real and natural thing.
 

Skychickens

Late Healer Ferret
@XoPachi there have been interviews with Ken Sugimori about why there was no mega flygon in the games. He had art block so hard they had to cut the content.
 
@XoPachi there have been interviews with Ken Sugimori about why there was no mega flygon in the games. He had art block so hard they had to cut the content.

I don't buy that he couldn't draw anything. Evidently he was still doing art outside of coming up with a mega evolution or two since the game was still completed minus a single (or a few) Pokemon designs (like I'm certain happens every gen).
And honestly, I'm willing to bet that was just an easy answer he gave for interviews which is something developers are supposed to do to avoid giving too much info. I feel like it was more likely he was close to a deadline and something less important (like a mega evo) got cut since there wasn't enough time to finalize a design. That happens with every game, but this is just me speculating.

I'm not convinced art block is a thing.
 

Skychickens

Late Healer Ferret
I don't buy that he couldn't draw anything. Evidently he was still doing art outside of coming up with a mega evolution or two since the game was still completed minus a single (or a few) Pokemon designs (like I'm certain happens every gen).
And honestly, I'm willing to bet that was just an easy answer he gave for interviews which is something developers are supposed to do to avoid giving too much info. I feel like it was more likely he was close to a deadline and something less important (like a mega evo) got cut since there wasn't enough time to finalize a design. That happens with every game, but this is just me speculating.

I'm not convinced art block is a thing.
Either way. You asked and it was delivered. Now. This thread is for methods of combatting it, not really a debate on if you think it’s a thing or not, so I will have to ask you to perhaps make a thread debating it elsewhere. Thank you.
 
Either way. You asked and it was delivered. Now. This thread is for methods of combatting it, not really a debate on if you think it’s a thing or not, so I will have to ask you to perhaps make a thread debating it elsewhere. Thank you.

I literally gave just that in my first post. Maybe don't challenge me if you didn't want a "debate"?
 

Fiorabeast

Always ill as hell
Honestly, since I blocked that person, I would like to see sources of what professionals they claim to have no 'art block' from because more than not, usually when a pro artist can't draw it's more than likely they are dealing with mental or health problems (ex. the creator for HunterxHunter and Watase Yuu of the Fushigi Yugi series who is semi-resting due to depression). And really, he was the one that brought up the 'no art blocks thing' and we responded, they responded with being dismissive. So, who's the one that brought the debate?

Also, not everyone can combat an art block, dude. Not everyone is 'artist superman' like you are, dude. Everyone has ways to cope with different things and sometimes what works for one person, doesn't work for them.
I mean, that's the same mind set as someone telling ME that my damn anxiety and depression problems are all in my head and there is nothing wrong with me and those don't exist. Obviously, listening to people say that to me obviously almost killed me. :)
Ironically, I SHOULD be working on stuff at the moment, but because I'm not getting paid to do my work (while trying to find a paying job that fits me at the same time), my motivation is getting sluggish at the moment because no money is involved. So, how does one solve THAT, by chance? Because oh yeah, most of us would LOVE to be damn paid for the work we do and yes, that would motivate us to draw more but guess what? No one wants to pay us (amateurs) because most people don't think our skill in art is worth the price we put into practice and hours unless you are a pro artist with really good rendering abilities. And even a lot of people wouldn't pay an artist with really good, skilled rendering abilities either. So then there is a lack of motivation to do this that leads to people being able to not draw due to either not getting paid, or other factors that affect them.
The reason pros can get through it all is they ARE getting paid to create something specific that the company wants from them! So of COURSE they likely won't get any art blocks while working unless stress and other problems happen to kick their butts while on the job!
 

malibu

Well-Known Member
My method of combating art block is to push through it.

If I stop and take a break, it always does more damage than good. I force myself to work on something, anything, so that way there's at least some progress rather than nothing. Since I work and do commissions on the side, I can't afford to take a day off without it screwing up my income.

Most of the time my art blocks are caused by my bad mental health, so normally I have to take care of that in order to remove my art block. Until then I force myself to work on things. Sometimes that just means practicing new techniques, sketching up YCHs, or trying to chip away at current commissions.
 

Marcl

The Honey Fox
Hmm... I might have something for writing block. Try to get back to the basics. Find a picture and write a description what you see in it. Find a scene from a movie, a video, or even from a comic and describe it. That should help you a little.

Frankly, I tried forced writing, but it always ends up with a disaster of a story for me. If you write a story, perhaps you need some preparations, pointed out stuff that you need, plot, character refs, things that make you feel confident you won't forget anything. While writing try not to force yourself with parts that you have no inspiration to, go with the flow and write parts that are easier at the moment.

You can omit paragraphs in descriptions to fill them later, just use some sort of marker to not miss them. For example:
'We have to hurry!' Jill shouted.

#Drive to campsite

'I hope we're not too late...' Jack muttered.
In this example I couldn't have been bothered with writing the driving scene. It's a filler, allows for a change of scenery and moves action forward, but I prefer to follow with the actual action. Later I can modify the note once I know what I want from it.
'We have to hurry!' Jill shouted.

#Drive to campsite. dangerous, starts to rain, nervous

'I hope we're not too late...' Jack muttered.
OK, so I know what I want. Later, once I'm done with the main stuff, need a break from it, or have an idea about the scene, I can write the actual paragraph.
'We have to hurry!' Jill shouted.

They quickly jumped into the car. The old vehicle started with a slight hesitance, as if it was a warning sign. A sudden gust of wind was followed by a wall of rain. The drops were menacingly hitting the windscreen. Despite branches falling on the road, Jack tried to drive as fast a possible while keeping them on the windy road. Finally, they reached the camping site. If it wasn't for the screaming wind and rain playing on the metal roof of the van, the spot would be dead silent.

'I hope we're not too late...' Jack muttered.

You can try this trick for whole sections of paragraphs, sentences, or even part of sentences.

EDIT: Oh, one more thing. Participating in writing on forums, making up stories and so on can help with writer's block. Just try to not overdo it :)

Similar methods should work for drawing. Do the easier parts first, do some practice on the side.
 
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