4 Cheap Ways to Combat Art Block

Fighting off art block doesn't have to expensive.
May 29, 2019

Fear is evidently the main cause of the art block. It is the worst enemy of everyone working in a creative industry. Who wants to be rejected anyways? Allowing fear, insecurity, negative self-talk, and self-doubt to intercede for a long time would paralyze us, artists, to create art — that can lead to costly behavioral therapies.

I, being exposed to therapies, would like to recommend cheaper ways to combat the art block so you don’t have to experience what I have dealt with. (Kasi ang mahal talaga, promise)

1. Talk to an online stranger.

You don’t have to risk your lives talking to a stranger. Choose an online messaging platform wisely. In my case; I chose Instagram, there are a lot of local artists you can connect with by typing in multiple hashtags like #pinoyart, #art and etc. Some will follow you some will not. Some will engage in conversation while others will not. It’s okay, hindi lahat sangayon sa side mo.

Lately, I have engaged with at least two local artists I just met on Instagram. Sometimes, they are just your new followers, talk to them. Share your life (syempre, yung komportable ka lang sabihin) and believe me an idea will spark on your conversations. Write the most striking conversation in your notebook and draw comics and illustrations from it and magic, wala ng art block!

Special thanks to @haikhues of Instagram. Follow her, she got poetry and photography skills at the same time. Ang cool niya pa kausap!

Indeed, we are at our best with a great conversation.

2. Illustrate your day.

I’m sure there is a lot can happen in your day. Pick at least 1 or 2 scenarios that are memorable to you or kung kaya mo ng 3 o 4 why not? Kahit pa nakakainis yan go draw your frustrations!

As I start again on illustration, I use this trick and ideas keep on popping up but I still have a hard time drawing in perspective and proportion as I don’t practice for the last 10 years. (Blame it on self-doubt and non-stop comparison with others) I still need to work it out by reading ebooks or attending art workshops (If you are coming from North area, tara let’s attend a workshop, I know one! Hit me up on @jeanmichelle.media or email me at onlyjeanoccena@gmail.com)

What I do to complete and express my self in the illustration is through reference.

Let’s take an example of my work.

Pengeng ulan! (Give me rain!) The artwork is based on one Monday I went out from 12 noon to 2 PM to pay bills for mom. I can’t go out at 3 PM, banks will be closed soon by that time. The temperature is 34 degrees high, imagine how hassle could it be and I was begging for a little rain to pour down that time.

Going back to the artwork so I searched for a kid in umbrella (I chose kids because their expressions are priceless) and a squinting kid’s eye.

taken from https://helpwevegotkids.com

I then drew straight on the graphic tablet, mind you, I still don’t master digital illustration yet but because I think I can do it by drawing basic shapes, I did it. It produces kind-of-a messy lines but that’s where the style is.  

3. Express your thoughts with haikujam.

This app is not exclusive for writers and poets but it is for everyone who signs up and has a chance to collaborate with other jammers. You can either start, continue or end a 3 liner haiku or poem. It helps you stimulate your brain to keep the creative game going. You may find inspiration in the finished haikus and eventually turn it into an artwork. (Naadik ako dito!)

Here are the finished haikus that I liked most:

4. Watch inspirational talks or listen to inspirational podcasts.

Sometimes we just need a lift and one way to have it is through inspirational talks. I would like to recommend watching Impact Theory by Tom Bilyeu. He interviews people in different aspects of life. He releases 45 minutes long but worth-sharing videos on YouTube. I haven’t checked all his videos but here is my favorite from his channel.

In this video, he talks about how our current life is the exact reflection of our own choices and the way we prime our mind has a big impact on our lives.

Sometimes, it's just us that has a problem. Our thinking patterns are what shape us.

“Your level of acceptance is powerful than the level of possibility”

Bo Sanchez TRC - Finding Your Emotional Why

If we accept that we are worthless and not good enough then we truly are. Don’t forget to appreciate your small wins!

Try my recommended cheap ways to at least combat art block coming your way but if you really need professional help and have a hard time dealing with almost doing anything you may contact Life Change Recovery Center for counseling and therapy.

Jean Michelle made with Oxygen
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