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The artist block bandaid

July 3, 2015
Oil pastel from artist's sketchbook

Oil pastel from my sketchbook–just playing with patterns and boxes

I don’t think you can stick other artists’ solutions for artist block, ennui, lack of creative juice on to your own artist’s skin like bandaids. Your strategies have to become your own. But others’ ideas and suggestions can create a pathway to get out of the lost territory when you are running in circles or at a dead stop, disoriented. Try some writing (yup—not “arting”). Finding some words to describe where you’re at might stimulate some ideas of where you want to go in your art practice. Writing can be a break-out, a great “unplug.”

If you’re not into writing sentences, try using some mind mapping software (lots of free choices online). You can create a “map” of your ideas and thoughts that becomes a graphic representation. Word associations, ideas that spawn new threads—all of them can be included on a mind map chart. It is a very quick way to brainstorm your way out of a corner!

Quick mind map exploring a series on treesHere’s a quickie mind map I did in just a few minutes with MindMup to outline some ideas I have for an ongoing series on trees–one that I have been working on, here and there, for several years. This software allows you to insert images into each node, which is great for visual artists! …one little drawback if you want to use this software for free; you can only store your map online. I used Google Drive since I store a bunch of other stuff that way. There are lots of other free options to try.

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