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  • Writer's pictureSarah Loutfi

Heckin' Stuck... How do I get unstuck?! Pt. 1

Oh gosh! Do I know a thing or two about being stuck! There are so many ways to get stuck in the process of making art. I'm going to take the posts for today and tomorrow and combine them to that I can show you some of the ways I've been stuck, and what I've found are the best ways to get the juices flowing again.

#1 - Commissions

This has to be my number one reason I get stuck. Sometimes a well-meaning friend, aquaintence or a family member will request a product for a gift or a business they are looking to start. While I'm happy to do the art, what does end up happening is that its challenging to switch back to my own work.

In some industries, I've learned that there is usually a cost associated with this. While for me, neither has any particular money value attached which is good, there is a cost physically. I could be really winning in a race, only to have to put the breaks on and switch gears for this new project. The problem arises when I try to get back into the race. I expect to still be winning, but somehow it feels as if I've never even left the starting line.

#2 - Lack of Inspiration

Staring at a screen all day at work, and then coming home and thinking about picking up a blank screen with nothing to put on it is intimidating. This is often the result of a lack of outside perspective and inspiration. This can put a major damper on the creative process. What happens then is getting caught up in the procrastination cycle (my particular favourite brand of method is what I call 'procrasta-cleaning'). Usually this means jumping into other projects, cleaning, engaging in TV or video games because you can't think of a new creative project to start and these offer an immediate satisfaction without you having to really get creative.

#3 - Things In Life Are Unbalanced

Sometimes this disguises itself as feeling tired or unmotivated. Usually this is a sign that things in life have become unbalanced. Whether it be recent familial loss, struggling with mental health issues, a lack of regular exercise, not eating the healthiest food, a lack of sleep or you've lost touch with your spiritual side, these things can have a real and serious impact on the ability to take joy in making art. These things are often external but build up in your brain until it's becomes a constant unpleasant undercurrent of emotion. Often it feels selfish to engage in something that is so loved, and there's no easy way to get back to art, but there are a few methods that help.

#4 - Moving Past Your Art Comfort Zone

Yup, that's right. Artistic exploration can stop you dead. You have an idea in your head you want to get on paper. And in your mind its so beautiful and just the thing you need... and all of a sudden, BAM! You don't have the skill level to translate it. CUE deep diving into classes and trying to find some way to make your dream a reality. This is exploration, which is totally viable and often a necessary step to make, can stop the project that in progress in its tracks.

There are lots of things that can make you unstuck, but when you're deep into an unproductive pit when it comes to making your art, it can be frustrating and difficult to move on. But we'll cover those tomorrow!

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