Art: Francine Goodenov

A while back, one of our students, Francine, reached out to the Sketchbook Skool community to ask for ideas on how to break free from a creative slump. Here’s what she said:

Feeling discouraged and needing inspiration, I looked through my drawer of old watercolors. You know, the pile of artwork that lies in the dark drawer, waiting to be taken out and seen in a new light. After looking at some of my old artwork, I am not as discouraged, but I’m still searching for something. A new technique , medium, subject. I’ve been trying chalk pastel pencils lately, have drawn using only graphite, I watercolor lanscapes, pets, people, seascapes, buildings…. My question is, how have other Sketchbook Skolars made their way out of a creative slump?

In true community fashion, SBS students responded with tons of tips. Here are some of our favorites.

I get my “kid” on!! I’m lucky I can collaborate with my granddaughter. She is so free about her art, and when I play with her I see something new in the world. We make purple bananas and pears, and we laugh and giggle a lot.Brenda

Give a new color palette a try, and you’ll see things you haven’t seen before!Mette

I try a new technique I haven’t used.Jennifer

If you see something that speaks to you, do a quick little sketch of it, not aiming for a perfect rendering, but just to create the memory. Play around with simple tools, maybe only a pen or pencil, maybe a watersoluble one to wash. Perhaps have a dedicated (cheap) sketchbook for this, if you’re reluctant to do this in the “Official Sketchbook.” Just play around—make a pretty painted background to write on, do a mandala, pattern, or doodle. If all else fails, here’s advice I learned at work about writing: Every day you cannot write (or draw), write at least one page explaining why you can’t. Most likely you will then start anyway, or discover the reasons behind your block, and that will help to solve it.Linda

A few years ago I decided to create a daily diary, but it would be drawn. Letting myself do what I love best—DRAW—was the most liberating thing I have done for my art self. Now, no matter what I’m working on, I always have this Place of Permission that allows me to make note of my daily life, thoughts, etc., in a way I find especially pleasant. Maybe there’s something you also love to do more than paint? Allow that, and it will open up the rest of your art world.Connie

Signing up for a new class helps me. It makes me think about art again and gets me back into drawing every day. Also telling myself that I don’t have to do perfect art. I can allow mistakes to happen. And I just keep practicing every day drawing everything I can.Ann

And here’s a tip from our fakulty members: When you’re in a creative slump, just play. Our 4-week workshop Playing is perfect for injecting new inspiration into your artwork, and into your life. And this week, you can play at a discount of 20 percent off. Rediscover the joy of making art by Playing!

Filed under categories: Community, Inspiration, Tips