Art & Craft Musings

I’m Still Fighting – Dealing With Artist Block

Do you have feelings of self-doubt, or do you feel blocked in relation to creating? I do.

When we moved house in 2009 I finally had the space for a dedicated art desk. I was so excited!! But I ended up spending very little time there. I went through quite a few years of feeling too scared to create. The inner negative voices were just too strong. Until one day I just felt like I couldn’t continue this life of not creating.

I’m lucky enough to be at a point now where creating is a habit (it wasn’t an automatic process though! This was hard work pushing through a lot of ‘Urgh, I suck’ thoughts). I usually like what I create even, but I find I do still experience an almost continuous feeling of blockedness.

Don't Need Anything Else | mixed media in A5 journal | @rrreow

When it comes to being an artist and sharing online, you often see the finished product. You see the stuff the artist wants to share and it gives a bit of a false impression of having it all figured out. You don’t see the struggle. You might even assume there isn’t one.

I struggle. Even accomplished artists struggle as I was surprised and relieved to find out on reading this post by Flora Bowley (she offers some helpful tips for getting unstuck too!).

So I just wanted to let you know that even though I’ve come a long way, and I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, I am still fighting. I am fighting with the block and negative feelings. But I am also fighting against them and continually trying to push through.

These Thoughts They Keep Growing | mixed media on 12x10" canvas board | @rrreow

My blocks and challenges change over time. I work through one, and another comes up. I come out the other side with more experience, learning and confidence.

Push against those blocks. Challenges are where we grow. This is where the magic happens.

How do you cope with feeling blocked?

By Iris

Hi I'm Iris! I'm a mixed media artist from London, UK. I want to inspire everyone with a creative heart to make and do what they love!

6 replies on “I’m Still Fighting – Dealing With Artist Block”

I’m with you. Share the struggle, if its not art its something each day – and yes also keep on fighting. Wish I could offer some help but also searching, I do know if I actually was to get into the studio I would be fine and happy just throwing paint around or sketching, but its the ‘getting in there’ I am struggling with. Today was to be the day a man came and picked up the furniture that was in the way and I was to make it all nice and spacious.. he cancelled this morning. Loving all your artworks, such bright colour you are right.. nobody would know of your struggles, so thank you for sharing.

Lynda, I think I am trying to find more peace in the struggle. Sit with it a bit and let it be, rather than trying to frantically search to ‘solve’ it (I am such a pragmatist so ‘solving’ and figuring things out is usually my go-to reaction). I find it hard to get into the studio too. Once I’m there I’m good and usually can keep going for ages, but that initial getting in there… that’s the biggest struggle!

Gah that’s so annoying that the moving guy cancelled. Really frustrating! Hope you can get it sorted out soon to continue with making your nice art space.

Hi Iris, it was so nice to find this post today. I have also got a great creative space but the juggles of life often stop me going in there to create. If it is not that, the block that I experience is when I see amazing art being created by others I compare myself and realise I still have a long way to go. This has probably stopped me for a long time sharing my creations with others. The feeling that I am not up to a level that others might be interested in seeing what I have to share. I loved your reply on Gracies blog where you say to just blog about what makes you sing and what you love, to just be yourself.

Angelique (beautiful name!) I’m so glad my comment on Gracie’s blog resonated with you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have that same tendency to compare myself to other people. So many people creating such amazing art and I can’t help but think negative thoughts “Oh mine isn’t as good, it’ll never be as good”. I wrote a post a while back about deserving to do art and a quote I used in there came to mind: “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”

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