Artist's block is an experience that is inevitable for any visual artist. The Art Prof team discusses the challenges of having artist block and then offers strategies, tips, and solutions for concrete actions you can take to pull yourself out of artist block.
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Prof Lieu: “Artist’s block is one of those things that I just think is inevitable. If you are going to work as an artist, you're going to have to deal with it at some point, and not just a few times maybe way more often than you would like to. It’s hard, and I think it is important to develop strategies that help you when you get to that point. So, I'm wondering for you guys, what do you do when that happens?”
Annelise: “I get out of wherever I am.”
Prof Lieu: “Like, physically?”
Annelise: “Yeah, I just leave. Because, I think sometimes when I’m in studio for hours trying to think of what I can possibly do for an assignment or a gallery, just being in the same place surrounded by the same things is not going to inspire me, and so I need to go for a walk. it's helped me before.
I had a project and I had 24 hours to complete it because I waited till last minute, don't do that, and I had no idea what to do, and I stepped outside and went for a walk and I was inspired. I was inspired by the leaves that were falling around me as it was fall, and I went back and I pounded that assignment out for 24 hours.
Casey: “We, as artists, often feel this pressure to be self generating all the time, and to take things from a really internal, personal place. But, like, read a book! Think about something else other than your own experience or open yourself to new experiences, and that can be a great source of subject matter.”
Annelise: “I think that’s true as I’m always taking preventative steps so I don't get artist block. So, I feel like I need to constantly have things filtering through my life that will always be giving me inspiration to know when I need to generate work I'm not at such a loss.”
Prof Lieu: “It’s funny because I feel like I get my best ideas when I'm not in the studio, and usually when I’m in the studio it’s because I’ve formulated something in advance, and I know what I’m going to do.
Actually, I get a lot of my ideas when I’m running on the treadmill, because what else am I going to do while I’m running, just ruminate about what I want to do, and I feel like it’s killing two birds with one stone because I’m exercising and I’m also thinking about my artwork. So, it feels very productive.
Like, a lot of people will say to me, ‘Oh, you’re an artist! Well you must read books about artists all the time!” And I’m like ‘Actually, I don’t, like I never do.’"
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