16 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Overcome Art Block

16 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Overcome Art Block

If making art were easy, then everyone would be an artist. However, the reality is that even the most brilliant artists get stumped sometimes. No matter how skilled you are, you’ll eventually come against a creative brick wall.


Some artists will simply try to power through this wall, whatever the cost. Though this approach can work for a few remarkable individuals, it can take a serious mental and physical toll on many others. Some may even end up quitting art altogether. 


Obviously, this isn’t an outcome that anyone wants. Creating art is a uniquely self-affirming act that helps us collect disorganised thoughts while also connecting us to others. Creating art can even have multiple positive impacts on our physical and mental well-being.


For artists, the act of creation is an affirmation of humanity. Whatever your other reasons for wanting to overcome art block, your intrinsic drive to express is not something you should ignore lightly. Let’s look at several things that you can try to recharge your creative batteries:


Experiment with Other Artforms

Doing something out of your usual repertoire will usually break your art block and make you a better artist overall. For instance, if you specialise in impressionistic paintings, why not try a hand at typographic posters? Even other disciplines like cooking or learning a musical instrument can help rewire your brain and prime it for continued creative exploration.

Buy Art

One of the best ways to get excited about creating is to purchase art that you enjoy. To further stoke your creativity, keep an eye out for unique art prints and other pieces that are in a style that’s very different from yours.

Buy Art to Boost Your Creativity


Take a Quick Break

This one is obvious but we often forget to apply this advice when we’re the ones doing the creating. Go for a coffee, take a nap, stamp your feet, or do whatever you must to clear your head and regain your momentum.

Take a Quick Break to Boost Your Creativity

Revisit Your Old Works

Artists often joke that their works are never truly finished, just set aside for further revision. Surprisingly, going back to pieces you’ve once made can give you a sense of perspective on how far you’ve gone and what you can do to move forward.

Go to The Gym

Regular physical activity will help you feel better and think clearer, priming you for creative work. Whether you prefer weightlifting or cardio, getting a move on will almost always help you get out of your rut. 


Go for a Quick Walk Outside

Being stuck in a studio for hours on end is a good way to get a case of the creative doldrums. Make it a point to leave your studio regularly to stimulate your mind and  find new sources of creative inspiration. You don’t even have to go far! Even a walk in a nearby park can do your mind a lot of good.

Go for a Quick Walk Outside to Boost Your Creativity

Make a List of Prompts

If you find it hard to make art because you have no idea what to make, have your friends or an AI tool give you prompts to work from. Compile the ideas you like into a big list and refer to them for future works.


Read a Book

Sometimes, exploring literature outside your typical preferences can offer unexpected insights and broaden your perspective. Even seemingly dull books can provide fresh ideas that may reboot your creative mind.

Read a Book to Boost Your Creativity

Do Multiple Studies of One Subject

Sometimes, the key to learning new things is to reexamine what you thought you already learned. If nothing else, doing multiple studies will help sharpen your technical skills for future creative endeavours.

Take On a Subject You’ve Never Done Before

Conversely, if you find yourself repeatedly exploring the same things, it may be time to switch things up a bit. For a bigger creative breakthrough, try exploring ideas that you’ve long been uncomfortable with or have been planning to try but somehow end up delaying.


Visit an Art Exhibit

Staring at your own work all day is a sure way to dull your creative edge. To refuel your creative juices, get out there and support your artist colleagues at their exhibits. 

Visit an Art Exhibit to Boost Your Creativity


Travelling is usually a privilege for most artists, but is often necessary if you want to get out of a serious rut. Whatever your circumstances, try to arrange a yearly trip to someplace different so that you can consistently expand your creative conceptions.


Rearrange or Optimise Your Studio

Workspaces can be messy, and that’s OK. But when you start having problems losing your art supplies and your train of thought, messes can become a problem. Do a quick clean-up and see if that makes things easier for you.

Rearrange or Optimise Your Studio to Boost Your Creativity

Revisit Your Creative Processes

If you create art for a living, you’ve probably built up a set of processes to streamline your workflow. It’s worth considering that we all evolve, and it’s possible that these processes may no longer be serving you the way you intend them to. Break your process down and see if any barriers to creativity could be removed.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

A prolonged, months-long rut may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue. If you haven’t already, talk to a qualified mental health expert and see if there are any issues that need addressing.

Make Whatever You Can

As trite as it sounds, one of the best ways to overcome a serious art block is to get started on a new, low-effort piece. The simple act of doing anything creative can be a great way to build momentum and get back into your creative zone.


You Can Get Through Art Block

Giving up is probably one of the worst things you can do as an artist. Creative dry spells are almost certainly temporary and, once you acknowledge and act on this, it will only be a matter of time before you get over your creative hurdle. Hopefully, the ideas shared here will help you get over your art block—if not today, then very soon.

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16 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Graphic Design Inspiration.


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