Art Block Busters Part 2

Illustration

If those first methods didn’t work out for you, fear not I have more.

I’m not gonna lie to you, this next method took a little while for me to warm up to.

When I was briefly attending university it was suggested that we journal our day to day activities in drawing. As someone who’d never really managed to keep a diary (or a blog, gulp) going for very long I had a feeling this did not bode well. I started by making intricate illustrations of what was going on daily and burnt out on the idea real fast. Eventually the images i made in the journal weren’t much more than shapes and doodles you might have found in the margins of my school books a few years previous.

These are what I learned most from and drew most inspiration from like doodles of my friends faces escaping telephones or little rain clouds gleefully showering silhouettes of people who had missed their bus (usually me).Weird right?

These are a couple of pages from a journal I keep at the moment. You can’t see it on these pages but I’ve also started sticking in bits of fabric, paper and other general rubbish to draw on later when I need reference. Or not. It doesn’t matter. It’s a little book of ideas that can be be realised, but maybe not all of them.

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The next method is pretty simple.

Your playlist.

What are you listening to when you’re trying to draw? I like instrumentals because I don’t get distracted doing paintbrush karaoke when I should be working. I know a guy who only has high energy stuff on his playlist so his hype for what he’s drawing never really dips.

If you’re stuck, try imagining what you want to draw as a scene in a movie. What would the soundtrack be like? Try building it in Spotify or something similar.

Alternatively, just try making lines and shapes along with the music and see what you get. You can then use the techniques from my earlier post to build these into fully fledged illustrations in their own right.

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Art Block Busters Part 1

Illustration

Everyone gets art block every once in a while. I’m gonna share with you guys my top ways to get you out of that rut.
The first one is something me and G came up with late one night, certain both our art careers were over before they’d even really begun because art block had set in hard. Usually one of us would pull the other up but not this time. Both of us were down.

Both of us are glumly doodling shapes that mean nothing and go nowhere. But at some point we switch, I’m drawing over Gs shapes and he’s drawing over mine. Before we know it were drawing awkward superheroes and cigar smoking skeletons and having some serious fun.

It’s really easy to get so caught up in your art that you want everything to be a highly refined portfolio piece. Sometimes you just have to let go and be silly with your work, that’s where great ideas come from. I’m lucky to have G to bounce ideas off of but this works even with your pals that claim they ‘can’t draw’, in fact the wackier ideas tend to come from these situations amid cries of ‘what on Earth is that?!’ And the laughter that ensues between you.

I 100% believe anyone can make art of some kind, so this is a great way to get your friends flexing their creative muscles too. It also takes the pressure off, if Tom who you’ve known since you were six, thinks the penguin shape you drew looks more like something entirely more rude he’s gonna tell you amid boughts of laughter. Everyone thinks and sees differently so this is great to get in someone elses mindset. I also love playing this game at workshops with young kids as a bit of an icebreaker because they knew what they drew was a cat and if you don’t see that then you’re stupid. Their confidence is contagious, trust me.

Moving on!

So this one is a bit of a two part excersice. Firstly grab some ink, some watercolour or even a teabag just out of a freshly brewed cup of yummy caffeinated goodness. I’m more of a coffee person but you’ll get no judgement from me tea fiends!

Now make a mess. Droplets, splatters, smears or whatever. Throw some shapes, literally!

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The little puffer fish are my favourites.

 

I find this in itself is sometimes all the help I need. To just make a mess, to let go of clean lines and precious white paper is to be free!

Maybe that’s a bit over dramatic but I need that in my life sometimes.

When it’s dry (or still wet, no rules rebels!) start drawing around the shapes you’ve made. Connect some that look like they could be part of the same illustration, turn that one into a goofy face, that one is clearly some kind of potted plant and is it me or does that one look like an artist that’s bummed out about their art block?

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Lumpy bobble hat Spiderman to the rescue!

That last one may be too specific but it really is up to you what happens around and in between those splats.

Part two next week!