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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How To Thrift

Q: When is thrifting the answer?

A: Thrifting is always the answer.

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Hi nice to meet you, I’m Maia, but you can just consider me your online thrifting expert. I was raised in thrift stores, for real, my mom dressed me in thrifted baby clothes before I could even talk. And from there, thrift stores were always a part of my life, and I’ve been shopping in them ever since I can remember.

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Thrift stores might be kind of intimidating for someone unfamiliar with them, though. There are thousands of random items, loosely organized (if organized at all), and there so SO many weird things (like, super weird). But believe me when I say that you actually can find some cute clothes from thrift stores, you just have to know how to look for them! I’d estimate that around 70% of all my clothing is thrifted:

Every clothing piece (except the shoes in the color photos) of these is thrifted! My most recent YouTube video was even on a big thrift haul where I picked out some new work clothes along with some geeky casual shirts!

So, needless to say, you can find some awesome things at thrift stores. But like I said, there are ways to effectively comb through all the wreckage to find the treasure. And here are my hacks on how to do it!

1. Give Yourself a Plan

This is just a good idea to do when shopping in general. But with thrifting, it’s pretty essential for someone walking into the chaos of a thrift store for the first time to have a plan of action. Even veteran thrifters like myself benefit from knowing the goal of what to buy.

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sneak peak of my spring 2018 board!

 

Recently, I decided to make a Pinterest board for what spring clothes I wanted to get this year and I was amazed at how handy this was when I went thrift store shopping later. I simply downloaded the app on my phone, and when I found a piece I liked, I’d pull up my board to see if the piece went with what I wanted. I was surprised at how many times I used my board as reference for what I wanted, and in the end I was incredibly happy I took the time to make it!

Giving yourself a game plan will help you to stay on track amidst the disarray and will hopefully keep you from impulse buys (which can be very easy when everything is so inexpensive)!

2. Don’t Settle

A mistake I made in my early years of thrifting was settling for clothes that almost fit, that may have had just a little stain or two, or might have had just a bit of torn lace on the side. My advice to you on this is DON’T SETTLE! Thrift stores have literally thousands of articles of clothing, shoes, and handbags, and there’s no reason for you to settle for something that isn’t nice, even if that price tag is ever so tempting. Let me tell you why.

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You’re standing in front of your closet looking at that shirt with that little hole on the side that you bought at the thrift store the other day because it was cheap. “No big deal,” you had told yourself at the time, “I can just cover that up by layering a jacket over it or something. And I can just, like, sew it up later.” But now, that jacket is in the wash. And you don’t have time for a repair job (you didn’t yesterday or the day before that, either). And why pick the shirt with that hole in the side when the one right next to it is hole-less?

Your article of clothing should not depend on her partner for support. She is a strong, independent woman.

I promise you that you’ll find a piece that is in perfectly good condition that you’ll like far better who doesn’t need fixing. Save that fixing time for your hair, honey.

3. You’ve Gotta LOVE It

This sort of goes along with the last point, but honestly, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s free. And why spend money on something you don’t love? When you open your closet, it should be full of things you’re EXCITED to wear – ideally, your closet should be full of “favorites.”

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Even if that sweater is in perfect condition, fits nicely, and the color is fine, but you don’t feel amazing in it, it’s not the one for you, boo. Back to the scenario from earlier, why would you pick something out of your closet that’s just “meh” when a way cuter piece is right next to it? And even if all your cuter things are in the wash, why would you want to leave yourself with a piece you’re just not that into? It’s just not worth it, not even if it’s just $2.00. :/

4. Look Outside Your “Zone”

As I’ve mentioned, thrift stores contain a vast amalgamation of clothes from all different brands. You might already know that a size 4 in one brand could be a size 6 in another and a size 2 in another. So when in a thrift store, if you’re a size 12, go ahead and look outside your size because odds are you’ll find a lot more options for yourself than you think.

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Also, don’t be afraid to search outside your gendered section either. Every single geeky shirt I got (save the pizza one) in my thrift haul video I found via scouring the men’s T-shirt section (and there were plenty of anime shirts there that I didn’t get, specifically there were some Yuri On Ice ones that I spotted!). Employees aren’t perfect, and it can be hard to categorize so many random things, so you might find something out of place or even in its right place that just isn’t where you’d normally think to look!

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Hopefully you can use these tips as a map to point you towards the treasure buried in your local thrift store! No need to be afraid anymore, adventure awaits!

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Do you have any tips/hacks that you use when you go thrifting? Are you new to thrifting, or a seasoned veteran? What are some of your favorite items you’ve found? Be sure to let me know by leaving a comment below or tag me in a photo (@itsmaiaeden) on instagram or twitter!

Also, be sure to check out my thrift store video on my YouTube channel! See you next time! ❤