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Old 08-09-2019, 09:30 PM
Malu93 Malu93 is offline
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Question Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

Iíve been going through a long bout of artist block. As the title says, I just feel very unmotivated. I have a bunch of ideas and projects I can see myself working on but actually doing it has become an issue and itís frustrating. For those of you that are going through or went through artist block, what helped you get your Ďsparkí back?
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:08 AM
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Pitterpat4 Pitterpat4 is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

Start with something simple. Just practice or play. I know this sound silly but I sometimes just color in one of the coloring books for adults.
fiber arts, acrylics, mixed media, photography
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:36 PM
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pa-paw pa-paw is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

I have been experiencing and fighting the artist block for several months, myself. I believe many people go through this at some point in their life. I attribute my block to something in my life that was depressing my desire and focus. In my case it was several illnesses in the family. It is said that time heals all things, and everything has to run its course. I am finally seeing signs that I am coming out of the block on my creativity. You, as well, may have something in your life that is interfering with your ability to focus and create. It will pass in due time.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:24 PM
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claude j greengrass claude j greengrass is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

I wrote about my analysis of Painter's Block here. I also had a problem with painting. No lack of ideas. No lack of materials. No lack of time to paint. I just could not bring myself to the easel. I found a solution which I wrote about here that worked for me. It's a similar situation so maybe try my "solution"?
It is only on a basis of knowledge that we can become free to compose naturally. -- Bernard Dunstan
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:42 PM
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HikingWithDogs HikingWithDogs is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

Yes, blockage is a weird thing.

For me, getting some paint on a brush and putting it to canvas seems to flip my mind to the task at hand. And then I can work.

The hand helps the mind.

For that moment of putting the hand to work, I sometimes need to just ad-lib some goofy study. The important part is that the ad-lib study is not psychologically important. It doesn't have to measure up to anything.

This is similar to what Claude wrote on his blog, I think.

I remember feeling incredibly frustrated and blocked. I had a piece of soft bad old cardboard, and I glued some muslin to it and did a very fast, very sloppy painting. Then I put some collage panels on it... then I did something else, and something else, and I started to get excited!

The whole support ended up warping like a taco shell, which was OK because it was a throwaway. But I could paint that throwaway when I was blocked on "serious" art.

(The punchline -- I liked the "taco" so much I did an 8" X 10" version on a proper support, and now I'm planning an 18" X 36" painting based on the same ideas.)

Incidentally, I expect my own blockages will never go away. They seem to plague even the great masters.

Last edited by HikingWithDogs : 08-11-2019 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:54 PM
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

ďInspiration exists, but it has to find you working.Ē
― Pablo Picasso

nobody will drag you to your easel, you have to do it yourself or it will never get done.

it's the process of holding the brush, mooshing the paint, dirtying the canvas that builds the habits of productivity - just do it, do it now - put on some tunes, get Off line and go ...

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Old 08-13-2019, 06:50 PM
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

For me, lack of productivity is much like going to a grocery store a bit hungry. . . but when looking at the seemingly endless shelves of choices. . . I just can't make up my mind. So I might leave with something unrelated to dinner or I might leave with nothing. I have so many ideas sometimes I just can't settle on one and start. What helps me the most is having a deadline, preferably one not too far in the future (too easy to blow off for later). I got two drawings done for a juried show when I hadn't done much beyond quick sketches for paintings simply because there was a deadline. I might even make a series out of one of them.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:09 AM
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

Okay, if you don't mind my quazi - intellectual spiel here, I think that the "block" and the "motivation" are not mutually exclusive, or causal. You can be blocked but motivated, or unmotivated but not blocked. Sorry, my mind works in crazy ways. My main recent block has been my fault. I am addicted to Youtube and Facebook. I have recently "blocked" them (pun). I remember back in my childhood thinking people sitting in front of the TV doing nothing were nuts, but now, I have become that kind of person. Ech. I despise that kind of person and am trying to shake off that lifestyle.

I am blocked also by the concerns of making a living. I am studying for a masters degree, as well as working on getting a job (mostly to pay off the student loans).

Otherwise I have a pile of sculpture in various forms of finish. I am trying to get everything I have done up to now cast (either in fiberglass or aluminum). I am within 4-5 hours of finishing some, and some are long term projects or will take me several months to finish.
No longer a member of WC. Bye.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:08 PM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

I am going through a bit of a block, but still working anyway. I'm just unhappy with the molasses way it's all coming out of me. It feels like I suck. I'm dieting, so I think that has a lot to do with my mood. It's also mostly writer's block and I think it had to do with a writer's forum I belonged to. I felt really small and insignificant there and bombarded with rules. Not grammar rules--of course I try to abide by those, but stylistic ones, which I guess are people's educated opinions. I feel intimidated by certain people with college degrees and often get incredibly frozen when trying to write after receiving so much advice.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:11 AM
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

I PMed you about NANOWRIMO. I stopped going to writer's sites like that. It was ridiculous. Some kid reads a writer's book they like and suddenly the believe that if anyone veers off of the authors "rules" they are wrong. This is more prevalent today because the kids growing up today are taught in such a way that using one's imagination (that which cannot be graded) is even closely regulated. I especially cannot stand the people with long lists of their character's favorite foods, music, etc.

I was recently writing here at WC about the experienced sculptor who I asked for an opinion on my work who told me to look at other people's work instead of dealing with actually giving me a crit (art school style). This is really the same kind of thing. In writing, publishing companies out there do have strict page lengths, characterization or plot types that they deal in to make their bread and butter. In art, the genre is somewhat the same. Cowboy art deals with cowboys in the macho steriotyped paradigm. Animal art etc. However as you no doubt know, if 100 artists have an assignment to paint "birds" you will get 100 different pictures, in the same way if 100 authors are told to write "A thriller" you will get 100 different responses. The problem I find with most of these sites is that you give the assignment to 100 different writers, but due to the homogenous nature of the buyer, only one vision is favored. The obvious reaction to this is to go Somewhere else (to another publishing house). Oh well, I have a lot to say and no audience.

I really want to get that "Masterclass" service that they show sometimes on Youtube. Especially when it comes to writing, I think that a lot of those classes would give me ideas or alternate ways of thinking about my own writing. I am now within 2 classes of finishing 1/2 of a master's in English literature, but I am not feeling it at all. I hate it. I would have quit it by now if the fact was that I live in a tiny town where jobs are hard to find and I need to pay back 50K in student loans which I stupidly brought upon myself. But I would like to somehow get into writing again as long as it does not interfere with art. This is not to say I couldn't get a gig as an arts columnist for a paper or something (a part time gig).
No longer a member of WC. Bye.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:42 AM
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reginareyesart reginareyesart is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

Hard work beats talent any day. When you experience lack of motivation and drive, go back to your purpose, to your true North. Your purpose will help you navigate the direction towards where youíre headed during the times you feel lost. Incorporate your own art style! If you don't know it yet, this article might help you out. Don't feel too pressured. Have fun.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:10 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

I'm not sure if a block lasts a decade as in my own case. Although to be fair I have painted now and again. As I write I'm looking at some Jackdaws I'd like to paint. I put all my paints on the table, a pencil, some paper (oil type paper) sometimes I walk past it and squiggle something on it, its growing into a body that is chained, trapped. I figure for some strange psychological reason if i paint myself this way I will want to break free from the prisoner I've become in my own mind.
Maybe one day when I've finished the drawing I will paint it, or maybe just keep adding to the drawing. I think there will come a time for paint, simply because I'm inclined to like paint more than graphite.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:46 PM
olive.oyl olive.oyl is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

Iím sorry that I have no words of wisdom for you and I hope for your sake, the block breaks soon. But this thread makes me curious, because:

Iíve been painting for 36 years (to be exact) and I canít say Iíve ever been ďblocked.Ē I mean, life has certainly gotten in the way and there have been many long and short periods of time when I just couldnít get to the easel in order to work. So maybe thatís a kind of (external) block. But as far as an internal kind of block like motivation, or inspiration, or confidence....no. I feel lucky to have avoided that but maybe, thatís ALL I have. Because painting is IT for me. I like my ideas, although plenty are dumb. I donít care anymore if anybody likes what I do. My motivation isnít ďfame or fortune.Ē And I have no desire to get better or learn more. It isnít even necessarily ďjoyfulĒ or blissful or fun. Like today, itís total drudgery.

I do it because itís the only thing that gives me purpose and keeps me from being bored to death (as I like to say). Itís like the gas in the car that makes it operate. Or food. Or air.

Nothing more, nothing less.

(And btw, at the moment...as I lay here flat on my back by the air conditioner....Iím totally dragging myself into the studio to paint. Itís 86 degrees and muggy and humid and I have no energy and I hate my pillows and so havenít been sleeping well and all I want to do is take a nap. NOW! But Iím not a napper. So I will now propel myself to sit up, walk away from the cool air, and go into the suffocating studio air to paint in a pool of sweat. Vroom, vroom.)
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Old 08-24-2019, 01:20 AM
DavePete DavePete is offline
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Re: Art Block: Many ideas but not motivated to start

Speaking for myself and my experiences, sometimes I think we just get stuck. I have found that is you allow it to pass, and it will. Push too hard to make yourself work and it sticks around. I am an amateur so I have that luxury.

If art is your career I don't think that is an option. If you have not yet done so read "Art and Fear" by by David Bayles and Ted Orland. That said, I did find when I worked that sometimes pushing too hard does not give good results. When that occurred when I worked, I just refocused on something related for a while, and that worked.

Good luck in getting back to where you want to be.
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