Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Breaking Artist’s Block

Sometimes, it feels like the paint is flowing from your brush effortlessly. There’s no thinking or plotting the next move. You just have to keep painting and let the piece come together, as if it’s creating itself.

And other times, the creative faucet feels broken. You stand in front of the canvas, struggling for inspiration that feels hopelessly out of reach.

All creative people have experienced both scenarios. The key is turning the latter one around. And one of the best ways to do that is to try something new.

We’re not talking about swapping your standard sky-blue paint for navy. To break a creative block, you’ll have to step far outside your comfort zone and try a new style of art, new materials, a new medium, or new scenery.

If you normally paint nature scenes, try a portrait. Love Impressionism? Give Modern Art a whirl. Trade in your watercolors for charcoal. Or step entirely outside your comfort zone and pick up a camera (like artist Vineta Cook explains in this blog post). Maybe leave the comfort of the studio and paint surrounded by nature, like these Plein Air artists do.

Ready to stretch your creative wings? Here are some tips to get started.

See More Art
It’s hard to paint what you haven’t been exposed to. So, explore different kinds of art. Visit upscale museums and funky, downtown art shows. Immerse yourself in masters like Monet, Dali, and Warhol, as well as up-and-coming artists in your own neighborhood (or at one of our showroom exhibits). Browse the works of respected photographers, like Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, and Diane Arbus. And don’t forget less-obvious sources of inspiration, like people-watching or browsing vintage clothing boutiques to explore fabrics, shapes, and colors. The creative spark leading to your next great work could be behind any corner.

Learn from the Best

When you’re in a creative rut, it can be helpful to get back to your roots. Who were the artists who first inspired you? Look at their work, deconstruct it, then try it for yourself. We don’t mean you should copy their works or attempt to pass them off as your own. But studying their successful techniques and trying your hand at them could help banish the block and let the ideas flow.  Past featured artist Renee Smith, for example, creates her own twists on the work of masters. Read about her art in our blog post.

Try Something New
Unsure where to start? Take a trip back in time. Paint a Renaissance-inspired portrait. Try your hand at abstract art. Incorporate elements of the Art Deco style into your work. No matter how the finished piece looks, you’ll learn new skills and expand your creativity in the process.

Take a Break
A watched pot doesn’t boil. And no matter how long you stare at that blank paper, a work of art won’t magically appear out of thin air. So, when art feels like a chore, do something else. Take a walk. Wash the dishes. Order art supplies. Even meditate, like past featured artist Peter DeWood does. Interrupting the task at hand can let your mind wander and your creative juices start to flow.

Give Yourself a Pep Talk

During a slump, it can be helpful to remember your accomplishments. Dig into your archives and review pieces that were received well, got attention, or earned awards. And don’t forget your personal favorite creations as well, even if they didn’t earn kudos. Reliving career highs can be helpful when doubting your talents.
Display Your Work

Who knows? Fighting against a creative block could produce an unexpected and interesting piece. If you’re proud of what you’ve created, give it the framing treatment it deserves. Our wood and metal frame collections feature frames fit for any era of art, from ornate gold and silver wood frames to clean Mid-Century Modern designs. After choosing a frame, the online design workflow makes it easy to choose the frame and accessories to complete your piece.



Share your projects with us. Tweet a photo of your experimental creation to @AmericanFrame using #AmericanFramed or email it to Customer.Service@AmericanFrame.com.
Have questions? Our framing experts are just a phone call away.
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