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A World Of My Own, Oil on wood panel. One of the paintings I created last semester while experiencing a conceptual high point.

Many artists will argue that artist block doesn’t exist. Some believe that the term “artist block” simply acts as an excuse for an an artist that is too lazy to take the time to conceptualize and create artwork.

The term “artist block” refers to a certain period of time in which an artist experiences lack of interest, inspiration, and motivation to create art. I’m sure that there are some artists out there that haven’t experienced this. I’m sure that there are people in this world that are constantly able to conceptualize, to admit creativity and create without any hesitation. I, for one, do not fall into this category of artists.

My name is Kerry, and I suffer from artist block.

Since moving to a new country, I have experienced a lack of motivation to create art. Last semester, I was constantly creating new pieces. I mean, I had to. I was taking an art class that required me to complete at least one painting every week.

I now am sitting in my apartment, staring at my unfinished landscape painting that I started about a month ago. And I do not have motivation to complete it. I have to, its a project for an art class that I am enrolled in. But I do not feel compelled whatsoever to pick up a brush, grab my pallet, and continue painting.

I am writing this as a reminder to force myself to create art. Force sounds like a harsh word, but I feel that it is the only remedy that will heal the reality of artist block that I am facing. I rarely faced artist block last semester, and I credit it to the fact that I had to create. If I did not finish a painting on time, my grades would drop. Now that I am in a more flexible, self-paced art class, I don’t have to put pressure on myself to finish a piece. I don’t have to force myself to sit down and paint for a few hours.

I now realize that discipline is crucial to create art. At least, it is crucial for the way that I work as an artist. Every artist works differently. Personally, I know that in order to combat artist block, I must constantly create until the mental barrier is no longer there.

I am writing this to remind myself to create. Even if I am not happy with the finished product, I need to create art. I’ve learned that art is an essential part of my being, and that I am able to experience life to its fullest while painting images and concepts that deeply interest me. If anyone out there is also experiencing artist block, I challenge you to join me in my journey of combating the reality of artist block, and to simply start creating once again.

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