24 May 2012

Overcoming Mental Blocks

 Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success.  - John Keats

I've had an up and down sort of week this week. I've had lots of ideas for drawings and paintings but when it's come time to start them I've stalled. Each time I've lifted my pen a voice in my head has told me "that's a stupid idea for an image" or "you can't draw that it's too hard". I'd developed stage-fright since I discovered that some people are actually reading my blog, shock, horror, giggle.
Luckily I have a lot of very creative friends and I sent out a call for help dealing with mental blocks and guess what? Before anyone had even answered I was back drawing in my journal. I used the idea of a mental block as a way to kick start my creativity again and it worked! So after I'd worked that out of my system I went back to an idea I had earlier in the week, "what would make my home appliances perfect?" The image below is the result.

What a time saver this would be in the mornings, especially on school days! 

I'm not sure if my mental block will stay away but it's gone for now and I have a strategy for dealing with it if it happens again. Use the problem as a solution by creating an image about the problem and hopefully that will be enough to move through the block. :)

These two images were created using different colored pens and watercolor paints.


  1. I love that toster picture!

    To avoid those blocks It's good to write down all the ideas even if you think they're silly, too simple or too complicated. the day will come when you will open that diary and find some of them really creative and inspiring.

    Some of them still will stay silly though ;)

  2. Thanks Art Plrang,
    I'm never short for ideas, it seems to be one thing that's constant. I've always got things buzzing around in my head and I do write them down most of the time.
    My main problem is second guessing myself part way through a project. I start something and then criticize it to death and don't finish it. It's a bad habit I've gotten into and I really need to work on it.

  3. Yes, if you don't finish, it may not work, it will look bad even if it has a potential value.
    There is a secret border to pass. Some trivial works look great because they are finished, so I started to work longer than usual even if I don't like what's already done.
    Still some works go to trash

  4. I did a summer collage this year to set my goals for the summer as lists just made me feel guilty for not doing them. It was much more positive and I achieved more so it's definitely the way to go!

    1. What a great idea! I've been wanting to set myself out some goals in my art but didn't want to make a list either. I tend to forget that I even made a list so the idea of a goal collage or similar really appeals to me.

      Thanks for your comment :)