• Clarissa Bittes

Stuck with a creative block? Here's what you should do

I’m sure most, if not all, of you have gone through a bit of a rut throughout your creative journeys. I decided to write this post compiling ideas of stuff to do while you’re in this creative block. Many of these items are not meant to get you out of your creative block, but instead to make the most out of these annoying times. Similar to my last post, I plan on updating this post as new ideas come up. For now, these are some things I’ve thought of:

1. Create a reference guide of poses. Having a library of poses saved in a folder in your tablet or computer might just be one of the best things you can do for yourself. However, I’m not suggesting that you look up poses on Google Images - instead, while you’re feeling uninspired, put on a swimsuit and take pictures of yourself in different poses, angles, lighting, holding some props and even with other people to have in hand whenever inspiration strikes.

2. Create a mood board. Sometimes I’m not necessarily in a creative rut - I’m just impatient to sit and draw for hours. Creating a mood board is a good way to gather all the required information needed to create that one piece once you’re finally feeling like it. You might want to use Pinterest for this, or just do a collage in your sketchbook. Gather color palettes, character design ideas, landscapes, lighting moods, or anything else that you think might be useful for a particular piece.

3. Participate in a drawing challenge. While sometimes I just don’t feel like drawing, other times I just don’t have the ideas for drawings. That’s when drawing challenges, such as “Draw This in Your Style” might come in handy. There’s even an Instagram profile dedicated to collect all the different DTIYS challenges going on. Just look them up to feel instantly inspired to draw!

4. Character challenges. There are books and mobile apps that provide you drawing prompts to help you get your creative juices flowing. Similarly to drawing challenges, a character challenge will help you come up with ideas - but original ones! I use Jazza’s app called Arty Games to come up with random drawing prompts and have created some of my favorite pieces using it.

5. Watch a movie or read a book. Yes, I know this one isn’t new and you might have tried it. So try to watch a movie with maybe a different perspective. Ask them questions and see if you can come up with answers or even imagine a different outcome for this story: what if the main protagonist was male/female? What if the movie was set in the 1950’s? And so on.

6. Study fashion and history. I was recently reading a drawing tutorial and the artist explained that he always starts a character prompt by asking where the characters are from and what time period they are at. By studying a bit of fashion and history, you can get new ideas for stories, clothing, elements, and even full pieces! Use this suggestion along with #2 to get yourself in a creative mood!

7. Take a walk. There are few things in life more discouraging than staring at a blank page, so just get out and go take a walk. Outside preferably, for about twenty minutes at least. Let your mind wonder - or not. Just breathe and now that an idea will come eventually.

Do you have any other suggestions to be added to this list? And if you've tried any of these, did it help?

Clarissa Bittes Illustrations

Local Charlottesville Artist

© 2023 by Clarissa Bittes. 

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