Creative block?? Now what…

We all get blocked for one reason or another.

There is an annual show it is called Sofa Art, and the sub-theme changes every year. Your artwork must contain a sofa or paint on a sofa or any other creative idea containing a sofa, like a sculpture or other abstract creation. The theme of the 2019 show was Comic-Con; you all know my love of fan art. I was very excited to create a painting for this. I decided to paint my largest and most expensive piece to date, and it measures 22″ x30″, I don’t know exactly how many hours I worked on this piece. Still, I was delighted with the finished piece, especially since it contained a majority of my favorite superhero and comic book charters.

Since the gallery takes a 20% commission and knowing this, I set the price where I would feel comfortable not keeping it. The price I set was $1,150!! The painting SOLD at the opening reception; this has been my most expensive piece so far.

I can’t explain the love or happiness experienced by creating this, and it was as much a learning lesson as it was a creative process.

After riding the high of finishing (let’s be honest, there was a point it almost didn’t get finished) and selling that paining, I created another fun little painting inspired by my niece’s birthday party. It’s a simple tent/camp scene resting in a crescent moon, I fell in love with the finished piece, had it printed on a t-shirt (link here) and stickers (link here). It became a big hit from my friends, family, and followers.

After that, I entered and won the cover art contest for Watermark Magazine, which made me feel like I had arrived or belonged to some higher art society or some other made-up reality I was imagining. The truth is, I didn’t get a little more attention from some in the art community, but I then learned that they each had already had an eye on me and my growing artwork. But this win was a fantastic feather in my cap!

So then what? I psyched myself out, created my creative block. I kept thinking I needed to create another great and successful painting, but I was adding the pressure onto myself, and I couldn’t think of a single thing to paint.

How did I fix this? I started with putting the paint on the paper; you see, I have a bunch of scrap paper cut into bookmark strips. So I just played around with different color combinations, letting the paint flow and create such beautiful effects. I find this technique very relaxing. It also helps when I get stressed out about other things in life, and since I am practical and don’t like wasting supplies, I highly suggest bookmarks, plus they make great gifts. Let me be perfectly honest. It took me about a week of overthinking and “trying” to come up with the next BIG idea before I realized I needed to do this.

The process of mindless painting works great for me to get out of my funk, but you might need to try something else. Like if you are a writer, maybe a simple exercise of writing about a word you like (actually that sounds fun). If your main focus is on drawing, draw an endless line, overlap it, swirls, zig zags, anything that doesn’t lift your pencil from the paper. Even if your art form is clay sculpting, you might try the watercolor painting exercise I use, you never know, it might just spark something in you too.

Share your unblocking secrets, or post your version of my bookmark technique. Use #NerdArtTips so I can see what you are creating!


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