Beating artist’s block – 10 ideas I’ve found helpful

Don’t you just hate it when you don’t know what to paint or draw or create?

I found myself in that situation today and thought I’d remind myself what I could do to reinvigorate my creativity!

  1. I keep a sketchbook with me at all times. Jotting down the ideas as soon as they come. If I’m stuck what to do I have a look through it.
  2. I play with different media – using the opportunity to try a new technique can really help spark an ideas.
  3. I go for a walk with a sketchbook taking time to stop and sketch anything which catches my eye.
  4. I looking through books and magazines. I found a really good book on abstracts recently “Painting Abstracts” by Rolina van Vliet and there are loads of exercises to help inspire creativity.
  5. I visit a real Art Gallery – seeing another artist’s work can stimulate an idea.
  6. I visit art websites and galleries online. Lots of sites such as Painter-online and Empty Easel have online tutorials. I might not wish to reproduce the image they demonstrate but they are a good source of advice and can be inspiring. Even if it’s only “I can do better than that!” It can be fun to do a subversive version instead.
  7. I rip up a magazine or seven and make a collage. BeIng surreal or funny if the mood takes me e.g. Kerry Katona’s head on K9’s body. Oooh, I like that idea!
  8. I doodle! Making a mark on a large piece of paper and fiddling with it. It helps free up your mind and sometimes you get a great idea for a project.
  9. I go out and take photographs. I play with exposure, cropping. Go in close and personal. Focus on details. Look for different angles.And so on…
  10. I got stuck with artist’s block here!!!!!!!! Then I remembered. I hoik out an old sketchbooks, flick through and pick one page. Then look at it upside down, sideways or squinting.  I then sketch or trace some or part of an image. Using a limited colour palette, I paint the new sketch

In all this, I don’t worry about how it will turn out.

My advice? Look on it as an exercise. Be patient, inspiration will come.

So, which option did I resort to?


and here it is.


I’ve called it “Potential” I love brickwork, I might have said so before! I was playing with ideas to create brickwork and this sort of evolved. The signature as the artwork.

Been looking at too much conceptual art methinks!

About CathyReadArt

Artist creating abstract art using mixed media. I believe there should be beauty in art, but sometimes it takes an artist to show others what is truly beautiful.
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