How To Overcome Artistic Block


Has that nasty artistic block reared its ugly head and drained your creative juices?

Don’t worry this article will show you how to crush that artist’s block for good.!!!!

You ve drawn some quality drawings and you’ve taken some art courses. The skills are improving and the excitement to learn is growing. You can’t wait to tackle advanced topics like human figure drawing and portrait work.

But lately, you’ve noticed something. The quality of the work is declining and the passion is diminishing.

You wonder what’s going on.

Drawing and painting has lost its appeal and has become a difficult chore.

There isn’t enough time in the day to do everything you have to do to maintain your practice.

In fact, you wonder if creating quality art are within reach.

Self-doubt takes over …then you give up blaming lack of time for the reason.

But … Something deep inside of you wants to create beautiful artwork for all the world to see.

You have to continue on your artistic journey. That little voice inside of you says : “ I was born to create and nothing is going to stop me from showing the world my vision.”

Here are 3 steps to get back into drawing

1. Go back to your reasons for drawing in the first place.

What got you excited? Was it your first awesome drawing? An inspirational art instructor? A beginning art book? Just go back to Whatever it was that got you drawing in the first place and begin again. See if you can reignite the passion.

2. Get social

Form an artistic group either on social media or in your local community. Share your interests with like-minded people and offer to critique other’s work. Often creative work can be isolating endeavors and it doesn’t have to be. You are not alone, Just reach out to others who are feeling the same. Sometimes just connecting with people can help with burnout.

3. Try drawing simple objects.

Basic shapes: cones, squares, cubes, circles, spheres, and organic shapes,  are great for drawing more complex objects. Remember human figures, animals and buildings are just made up of basic shapes. Keep a journal and see if you can root out that negative self talk out of your head.


There are many reasons why you’ve stopped and some reasons are legitimate such as illness, money or other family obligations.

But…I suspect the main reason is … artistic block

Three main reasons why people give up on any creative endeavor

1. The lack of quality results. your artistic growth plateaus and the skill sets are not increasing. In fact, the skill sets may be diminishing. You ve forgotten how to draw those other drawings and now your drawings look like crap.

Self doubt happens to everyone. Go back and review your awesome drawings and believe you have the ability to learn. Artistic growth comes and goes in spurts. Even the experts feel like a complete beginner at times. Remember quality artwork takes time to develop

We all have our “bad drawing days”. Don’t equate bad drawings with lack of skill. We are not going for exhibition quality work. Art and drawing is supposed to be fun…right? Shut down the internal critic and remember you are learning.

Don’t give up!!

2. Others who started out the same time are doing better than you and some are selling their work

Yep… I’ve experienced this myself.

How to deal with it: Don’t compare yourself with others. Everybody was born with certain set of talents including you. Just pick up on where you left off with your lessons and continue on. If you feel feel really burned out take a break

3. Suffering from Burn out.

Can’t draw or even think about drawing anymore?

Try a different art form

Maybe pottery, maybe music

Or writing poetry or some other creative outlet.


Your brain like a computer needs to defrag and get rid of at the useless information stored up there.

You are not losing your skills you just need to reboot. Try hiking, exercising or another hobby such as photography or playing a musical instrument.

Just like working out if you focus on one muscle group the muscles will burn out. You have to vary the drawing exercises. For example, integrate drawing head lay ins with basic sketching or some other simple drawing exercise. Head work should not be followed up with drawing human figures for over 2 hours.

Once you’ve taken a break, the brain/body/emotion continuum will look at the problem in a different way. And, the brain will come up with a different solution to the problem.

“Creativity blocks” happens to everyone. Even the pros suffer from this

Steven King

Bob Ross

Agatha Christie

How to get those creative juices flowing.

First decide where the block stems from

1.  Limiting belief: We all have them find what yours are. A common belief among beginners is that you need to talent to create quality pieces of art. Not true.

2. Boredom: Get involved with a group or organize one and share your passions.

3. Lack of confidence: Practice, practice and practice some more. Focus on the process and not the result. Be sure to chart your progress. You are better than you think.

Reignite the Passion

Remember drawing is HARD to master. Art forms like Human figure and portrait work require lots of concentration and attention to detail. Even the expert artists take breaks every 20 minutes.

Michelangelo suffered from burnout. However, he painted and sculpted all the way up into his nineties.

Check out how famous artists kept their passions alive. 

“You would think that my work was not that wonderful once you know how much work went into creating it.”


Burn out happens to everyone. Remember why you started drawing in the first place and continue on with the journey!!!

Please share some of your ways of dealing with burn out in the comments below. What are some of your favorite activities to do outside of art and drawing?


Recommended reading

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

By Mason Currey

A great book that covers some daily habits of famous artists, writers and musicians. The book includes pictures of their work spaces and how they spent their days creating masterworks.

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