JMHurd
Graphic Designer & Illustrator

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Located in Southern Pines, NC, Jackie is an Illustrator and graphic designer. Subscribe to this blog to learn more about Jackie, her experiences in creativity and helpful tips for fellow creatives.

My simple fix to creative block

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Occasionally creative block gets the best of me and spins me into a day, sometimes a string of days of creative despair. Creative block is pretty terrible when it hits and it's a great feeling when it finally floats away. But where does it come from in the first place and why does it have to bother me when I have things to do? After all, art is how I earn my living. 

I can't completely answer my question but this line I stumbled across from Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon makes a lot of sense, "Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities."

Too many possibilities... when I look at the days when I encounter creative block, I find it's on the days when my desk is the messiest, covered with paint tubes, markers, colored pencils, fancy new paper or whatever else I've decided to try to bring into my workflow that day. So this line makes a lot of sense, at least for me, and may be my biggest hang up when it comes to making art. There are so many options available. Too many options. It's an overload to my creative flow. I keep trying and wanting to bring in different mediums but I always default back to a pencil, a black pen and a Canson Mix Media sketchbook. Once I have eliminated everything else I feel free again. What works for me is so simple and effective that it almost seems too good to be true and I guess that's why I keep trying to change it up. When I have too many options I'm stuck. When I limit my tools I feel less overwhelmed and the quality of art I produce is what I'm the happiest with. 

So if you find yourself stuck, my advice is to clear your workspace and take away everything but the basics. Once things start flowing you can always add things back in as space opens up for them.