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.”