Art Block: Fact or Fiction?

I’ve recently been getting back into the artsy side of YouTube. Watching speedpaints, redraws, and other various artist-inspired topics has really been captivating my attention as of late. With all my art video binging, I’ve also stumbled upon some interesting topics, one of which I wanted to bring up in today’s post.

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Before I delve further into this topic, I want to give you a brief explanation as to what art block or artist’s block is. If you’ve never heard of it, art block is something that artists experience from time to time when they feel unmotivated or uninspired, or they just can’t seem to come up with any good ideas, or the projects they try to create just aren’t turning out the way they want them to. It’s a feeling of being stuck in a rut where your art side seems as though it’s cut off from you or blocked: art block.

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Okay, so if that’s what art block is, why is there a debate over it?

Well, the argument about art block is whether it’s actually real or not: you might say you’re uninspired, but isn’t that just an excuse to be lazy and not put out any work? Especially when artists claim to have art block for long periods of time, weeks, months, or sometimes even years, how can that be a real thing?

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For me, I’ll be honest right off the bat and say that personally, I do believe that art block is real. I’ve been making art all my life, and I can say that there have definitely been times in my life where the creative juices just aren’t flowing for me.

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In my opinion, art block is not an excuse for an artist to be lazy, rather, I see it as a form of creative fatigue. If someone is doing something over and over again, constantly, odds are they’re going to exhaust themselves after a while. Even if it’s not physical exhaustion, mental exhaustion is a real thing and I’m sure everyone has experienced it at one point or another.

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Been doing math problems for three hours and suddenly even simple problems are becoming a challenge? That’s mental exhaustion. Or that topic for a paper you need to write is just not popping into your head? That’s a bit of a creative hindrance. Or for some reason all your drawings of people are looking all stiff and weird and you don’t know how to change it? Art block.

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So if everyone experiences mental exhaustion, why is “art block” its own “thing?” Well, if you ask me, those of us who choose creative endeavors rely on new inspiration daily, sometimes multiple times a day, for days, months, or years. We need to always pump out new ideas and then figure out how to make those ideas become a reality.

Sometimes, we just run out of ideas.

Or we’ve exhausted ourselves to the point where we can’t translate what’s in our head to the real world. Or we’re just out of practice. Or sometimes, there just isn’t an explanation. It just…happens.

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Lastly, I want to address the idea that art block is just an excuse for being lazy. First, I’d say that art block certainly could be used as a way for an artist to be lazy. However, many artists who experience art block might acknowledge the fact that they’re stuck in a rut, but continue to work through their block anyway. Their art might not be up to their standards, or they might not be posting it publicly because they don’t like it, but sometimes lack of inspiration doesn’t mean giving up altogether.

I’d also like to say that art block could also translate to…perhaps…get this…the artist just needs a break. 🙂

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In conclusion, art block sucks! 😀

But really, go easy on yourself if you’re experiencing art block. Here’s one of the videos I found on art block of some ways to maybe break out of it if you’re struggling with it.

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Do you believe art block is a real thing or not? How do you deal with a lack of creativity or ideas? Be sure to drop a comment to let me know! ❤

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2 thoughts on “Art Block: Fact or Fiction?”

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