As an artist or creative we all get this feeling of being stuck sooner or later. It's like running into a wall or running out of gas. Being stucks means so many things. Some other names for being stuck are things like creative block, being uninspired, not progressing, feeling like you are making bad art, or like you are stuck at a certain level.
First off if you are here CONGRATS you are aware of the problem. But is it really a problem to feel stuck?
Not at all! Getting stuck is a normal part of the creative process. We are not machines constantly producing at an optimal rate consistently. There are ups and downs, changes, and progressions. Once you acknowledge that this is normal then when you find yourself stuck or blocked you won't feel like it's a dire situation.
As a professional artist since 2012 and life long creative, I've found that when you get stuck it means you are about to make a breakthrough. You are going to level up or progress in your art. This is great!
I'm sure you are wondering how to get through this with your sanity and make the most of it.
Here are several ways to get unstuck with your art.
1. Keep making!
Don't stop because you are uninspired or not sure what to do next. Make bad art is a part of the process so don't let that deter you. If inspiration is not coming use one of the tips below to find it and case it. Waiting for inspiration is a waste of time. You find inspiration but searching for it, living your life, and making the art.
2. Journal and ask yourself why?
Why do you think you are stuck? Is it fear, making bad art, not interested in the subject, your skill is not where you want, comparison to other artists, too many ideas, or wanting to move on to the next thing. Be truthful with yourself! Once you answer this question and dig deep into your inner emotions you'll find the answer to why you are stuck.
3. Take a break and do something else you enjoy.
Ooops, didn't I saw above not to take a break and keep making art? I did, but if you are driving yourself crazy it would be best to go for a walk, read a book, visit some friends, or go to a museum. Do something you enjoy and clear your mind. Then come back and try again after the pressure is lifted. Don't wait too long though or you will lose momentum so keep your break short and sweet.
4. Use your sketchbook, try all the things and play.
A sketchbook is an artist's best friend. Yet I have met many an artist that doesn't use one or use it often enough. You are missing out on this magical tool. Play in your sketchbook and try all the ideas you have in your head. If you have no ideas just pick random things you like or paint from life. Taking the time to experiment in your sketchbook will give you new ideas and up your skill level minus the pressure of completing a masterpiece.
5. Practice a different art or craft form.
Switch things up and have some fun being crafty in a different way. This can bring up new ideas for you and relieve any stress you are having about being stuck. Sometimes we all just need a break from our chosen medium to feel that spark from creating again. Things to try are stamp carving, paper making, clay, a different paint medium, collage, digital illustration, or jewelry.
6. Give yourself a challenge.
When you are stuck this might be the last thing you want to do. Why a challenge? It moves you outside your comfort zone. Outside that zone is where new ideas and directions form. You can do things like a 10-minute challenge where you paint something for only 10 minutes and leave it be. Experiment with limited color palettes and see what you can do with just 3 colors. Pick random subjects from a bowl and combine them. This will help you think creatively to piece those subjects together. These challenges will ignite your creativity and perhaps lead you to a breakthrough in your art.