12 Exercises to Defeat Creative Block

Have you ever felt as an outsider from the magical, creative momentum? Are you having an art block just in time for a deadline? Maintain your wonder and curiosity with these twelve exercises designed to keep the creative process flowing.

Scribbling down ideas on a daily basis is the best way to train yourself to think creatively, everyday!
Exercise: Always carry a sketchbook, a journal or a camera. Mind you, don’t just carry such items but actually use them on a daily basis. Document the world around you and/or sketch your thoughts. A sketchbook is not a place to feel pressured, but rather a place to experiment new techniques, mediums, colour palettes, and compositions.

Creativity is increased when you’re learning.
Exercise: Integrating art and music can help introduce new concepts in education. This also works all the way around. The creative process is often problem solving. When you learn something new, you are finding solutions. Take a singing class, take an advanced watercolour lesson or study a new language.

Confronting other forms of art such as music or literature always sparks new ideas.
Exercise: Try to illustrate a song, a novel, a poem, a videogame or a movie. Fan Art anyone? Try moving your pencil or paint brush to the rhythm (if it is music). Or just sketch your favorite scenes, or patterns from that dress you saw in a movie. Don´t just copy, but rather expand the idea that draws your attention from the other media.

Wether you’re pulling the weeds or making an interesting carrot meal, you are exercising you brain to solve problems.
Exercise: Do casual things you actually enjoy around your house or apartment. Such as cooking, sewing, gardening or building a new bookshelf. All of these activities force you to use your hands and will definitely tune your energy and blood flow with your inner inventor.

The power of internet, a library and/or museums bestowed research!
Exercise: Think of something you are interested in or not at all, but you´d like to learn about. Let´s say eggs. Look for information regarding your subject. For example: the types of eggs, textures, colours, where do they come from?, ect. Read about what other artists/creators are doing with your chosen subject. Learn everything you can and sketch your new findings.

Exercise: Travel, go to places that inspire you. Whether it is the local cafe or taking a hike outside your country. Try to surround yourself with new atmospheres. Meeting new people in your travels and listening to different points of views will wrap you in new experiences that can refresh your own perspective of things.

When in doubt, look at nature.
Exercise: Go to the beach, a forest, your garden, or look above (so you can watch the stars and clouds). Take your camera (or phone) and photograph whatever draws your attention. Whether you are looking at flowers, insects, the ocean or space… all the science behind color theory starts here. Nature always has the best compositions and color combinations. The latter can inspire you to develop a new color palette for your work.

Back to Basics
Exercise: Challenge yourself to use a limited color palette or materials you´ve never used before. Work on series of sketches. For example, make 10 illustrations where you only use a blue ball point pen. Make every piece interesting, yet keep them connected to each other by using the same medium, subject or theme.

Know your workspace!
Exercise: Organize your workspace differently. I don’t mean re-decorate, just make your organization work for you. For example, organize your pencil colors in a gradient or make materials easier to access by labeling the boxes with their contents. Have good lightning and ventilation.

Changing the atmosphere where you work can tweak your mindset
Exercise: If number 9 didn’t do the trick you can also change your workspace. Go paint at the beach, the street or another room in the house. The idea is to try different places and find the setting that will get you out of that funk.

Know when your brain activity is at it’s highest peek.
Exercise: Maybe you’re a morning person? Well, go and sketch every morning. Perhaps your brain is more active at night? Then get your vampire fangs and go work in the studio by moonlight. The trick is discovering what works best for you.

Fighting an art block is not synonym of lack of inspiration, sometimes you just need a break.
Exercise: Sip some lavender tea, take a walk or take a shower (extra points if you take a bubble bath). Get away from social media for a while (a few hours will do). Relax and breathe. Stress is usually the mother of art blocks. And while it can definitely become a clinical matter, there are things you can do before you go back to your drawing table.

At the end of the day confronting that blank canvas/page without fear is the best way to start. Enjoying the process is very important, even if the result is not what you aimed for. The creative process is not overrated.

How do you keep your juices flowing? Tell us your own tips below in the comments. Remember, we’re in this together. Share this post save a life. ♥

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