The Creative Block vs The Expendables Art

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve encountered an artist’s worst fear: The Creative Block.

As a graphic designer, it hard ever appears, since I get a lot of feedback on projects that I work on, both from the client and my wife, who is the most honest person when it comes to my art. So, needless to say, when this demon sprang up from the depths of Hades, I peed my pants. Just a little bit.

Lucky for me, though, I have a great group of guys that are there to steer me in the right direction. These are the guys known as The Expendables Art Collective. Sure, it’s a long name (and maybe even a rip-off of the over-testosteroned blood fest starring Sly Stallone and every other ’80s action hero), but we are who we are. And we’re there for each other.

Oops. Got a little sappy there. Back to where I was headed…

After struggling with the inability to create any original illustrations or designs, I decided to ask my “team” what they had done or would do in this scenario. The feedback I got was fantastic. It instantly became clear that this devil could be vanquished, even if only for a while. Here are some suggestions from the guys:

  • Copy people’s work just to get something down on paper. Extrapolate from there.
  • Draw something you know.
  • Share your drawings through social media.
  • Take a short vacation from drawing.
  • Keep plugging away and stay strong.
  • As long as you are satisfied with what comes out on paper, that is what truly matters.

If I can add one more thing to this list, it would be have a group you can bounce thoughts off of.

Sure, I’m still struggling with the Creative Block, but I have hope. And that’s my most important tool right now. To quote President Snow from The Hunger Games, “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.”

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Same Old Song and Dance

It seems to be that I’ve been down this road before. In fact, there is a chance that you have been down this very road right alongside me. If that’s the case, then thank you very much for sticking by my side. If you’re new to this journey, let me try and get you up to speed…

I “officially” started Firewerks in 2008, but have since then relaunched it multiple times. The reason I do this is because I have a love for this industry. (And the fact that I’m a perfectionist…) I want the presentation of my work to be clean, and to convey what I am able to do for potential clients. Most importantly though, I want people to see the quality that they will be able to afford.

If you’re curious to know why I’m at it again with the changes, I’ll explain.

Earlier this year I began working for a small business as their graphic designer and social media person. It was an experience that I enjoyed from start to finish. Unfortunately, some things happened and I was let go. I can’t go into those details with you for professional reasons, but I will say that I don’t fully agree with why my employment was terminated.

With that being said, I’ve decided that I should start spending more time developing my talents in design and learn better business practices. Those decisions have led me to this very spot where I am recreating my brand from the ground up. I’m leaving the past behind me and focusing on what can happen in the future.

At this point and time I’m still trying to determine exactly what I’ll be showcasing in my portfolio, but I am more than willing to take on clients. If you’re interested, please visit the Contact page. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter and like the Firewerks Facebook page.