Over the last week I’ve been taking part in a lovely project started by the very talented Victoria Johnson called A Little Art and thought it would be fun to share what I’ve been creating. I’ve been feeling a bit ‘stuck’ lately and suffering from what you might call creative block. I had ideas for what I wanted to create but every time I sat down to draw or paint, it just wouldn’t flow and I became frustrated. The more I tried, the more pressured I felt and the worse it was! I know the best thing to do in those situations is to walk away and do something completely different but that’s easier said than done when all you want to do is create something you’re happy with, so I just kept trying and feeling worse! Then I spotted Victoria’s ‘A Little Art’ project over on Instagram, where you create a small piece of work, only 2.5″ wide and share it on IG with the tag #alittleart. Perfect I thought, so I gave it a go and thought I’d share how I managed to overcome creative block with A Little Art.
I also watched a course on Creative Bug about Creative Sketchbooking by Pam Garrison, which I really enjoyed as it got me away from thinking about the bigger picture and gave me permission to just have fun and not think ahead about what I was trying to create. It sounds a bit odd but it’s great as it takes the pressure off. You’re just in the moment, going with the flow of what you are doing with no big intention. At one point on the course Pam gets you to make a series of different washes and pages of colour and texture, which she then shows you how to draw on top of by making shapes and motifs from the paint marks. I thought this would be a good place to start so I made some pretty coloured washes (like the one above) but when they were dry, I decided to cut them up and use them for collage instead!
I still tried really hard to just stay in the moment and not plan too far ahead, so I went about cutting out different shapes and once I’d got a few cut out I began arranging them in a tiny 2.5″ square. This was a big challenge in itself for me as I nearly always work big! Most of my sketchbooks or rough pages are at least A4, I just can’t seem to help drawing or painting big! So I had to really adjust my way of working but very quickly I got into it and then couldn’t stop!
I still drew on top of the painted washes but only once I’d cut out my shapes and arranged them. I love working like this as it combines two of my favourite mediums at the moment – watercolour and collage – with my old faithful line drawing. It was like the floodgates had opened and whatever was preventing me from creating before had lifted and I was free! It might sound a bit dramatic but if you’ve ever suffered from creative block, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. I was probably a right pain to live with at the time!
I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do with these little collages, which is another thing I had to fight against – not having a preconceived end product for my artwork or design. Usually when I’m creating I have a product, or surface in mind that the design or artwork will be used on but I tried hard to not think about it, as sometimes that inhibits me, as I start putting blocks up as to what I can and can’t do. This time I just created for the sake of enjoyment and got lost in the moment.
It has given me a few ideas for more collages and mixed media pieces and I can’t wait to have a go! I feel so much better for having just let go of whatever it was holding me back. I’m just grateful that Victoria made her own personal creative project a public one and asked us all to join in, as it was just what I needed at that moment in time! I really recommend taking a look at Victoria’s own IG account to see her own beautiful work (and other peoples #alittleart that she shares), as well as the gorgeous #alittleart feed to see all the tiny little works of art that people are creating. It’s amazing what you can create in just 2.5″ wide! Why not join in?
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little collages and really hope it inspires you to have a go at your own #alittleart I’d love to hear about how you overcome creative block and what you do to get through it. Do you just try and push through it, or do you walk away and take a break from it? Please do share your experiences in the comments below.
I’ve also dusted off my marker pens too and have been experimenting with them but that’s another blog post! I hope you have a good week.