How to get out of art block?

Guys, hi!

Do you know this exhausting feeling?

I was like a finished tube of toothpaste. I've been putting so much pressure on myself with no results. Day by day, month by month. It was hard from very beginning but resent Inktober and coming New Year’s eve and Christmas made me brave. I thought I had a lot of toothpaste in the tube. I just need to push harder… But nothing was happening

So long time I didn't do anything good. I didn't write posts. didn't draw illustrations. It was a long and exhausting situation. But I'm done with it. I’m here right now. And I want to share with you what helped me to survive such a deep art block and what I learned from it. Hope it will be useful for you.

How to get out of art block? Sonia Nezvetaeva, Rose, illustration, 2019

How to get out of art block?



When did your art block start?

It was the end of November and I got a new freelance project. It was big complicated ornament for knitting fabric. The patterns has been changing during the whole working process, the factory didn't respond key questions in time, my customer was in stress, I was in stress, even my husband was in stress. Stress was everywhere in the air.
And in that moment I realized that I have no idea, no power and no desire to draw anything for myself. I didn’t want to draw, I didn’t want to share anything in my social media, I didn’t want to make something at all. But the hardest thing in this was feeling failure and fault.
So I decided to get my calmness back. To slow down myself.



Your art block is not a tragedy. It's time to research yourself

When It started It was a bit scary. I wanted to draw in a big point but when I set by my desk with a sketchbook or IPad, I didn’t want it at all.

So I decided to make big spots and abstracts, to make my hands fluent. And then it became a very natural research of colors, making lights and darks, bright and pastel color combos and color blocks, simple and complicated, trying to find my new color system or may be say hi to my Muse.

Also I bought several books about art, composition and sketching (I’ll make a big book post if you are interested). And few webinars from successful illustrators and artists. It was really useful to spend time of art block by improving my knowledge. I think it was the best decision which I could make in that situation.

How to get out of art block? Sonia Nezvetaeva, Lisianthus, illustration, 2019



New experience! New topic!

In January my husband and I had planned our trip to Sri-Lanka. It was really enriching journey. The biggest impression was meeting a lot of unusual (for Russian) animals and birds. Especialy snakes and turtles and, of cause blue whales! It was so exiting. And I thought what if I can change my art focus. What if I want to draw snakes and turtles? Will see. However, It was such a refreshing experience!



Revision of art supplies

Three Sundays ago I still was in art block. And I saw several videos about art things, watercolors, brushes, markers, pencils. And  I found myself looking through my own art supplies. Box by box I put all the art stuff on the flor. And it was such a huge amount of them. I started to clean my brushes and put them all in one place, clean my watercolors and gouache and put in the place, sort all the sketches and sketchbooks out and of cause I did my new color swatch pallet for my favorite material, for my markers.

In the end of the day I had a big bag with trash and ideal order in my art boxes. It was like a white sheet of paper ready for new beginning.



Switch your mind off, free your hands

Two Saturdays ago I was really devastated. We had long exhausted Friday on our jobs. And all day long I felt like I have no power at all. I switched on new TV series and started to copy watercolors artworks with markers ^____^ without any plan or goal. All day long, pic by pic. And at night I reallized that I'm drawing my own new flowers sketch. I don't remember how I've started, why I've chosen this reference, how I've made a pencil draft. I just made it while I was watching-listening to TV series.
Three sketches later I was sure that I was done with my 3 month long art block. And I'm really happy and grateful for it.

All will be alright! I promise! 


I don't really know if it was helpful for anyone but I just want to share this story because the scariest thing in art blocks is lonelyness. All around you are working and you are alone like a lazybones laying in your bed and eating things.

But we are all there from time to time. And we shouldn't allow these periods to destroy ourselves and put us on a black hole of endless guilty.

Whatever it is, the art block duration could be a really great time of researching and discovering of new horizons. Hope, that if you are in the beginning or the middle of this hard time you know, all will be ok. You will be back on track as soon as your Muse come home from her vacation. Dont worry!

How to get out of art block? Sonia Nezvetaeva, Rose leaves, illustration, 2019


So, may be, you have some good advice to us how to get out of art block? Or may be you even know how to avoid this dark place on the way? Could you please share this priceless information on the comment section?


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How to get out of art block, Sonia Nezvetaeva, illustrator
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