Getting over artist’s block

Gauri Raje, News Editor

Art made its way back into my life a couple of years ago when I started bullet journaling. The practice reignited the inner artist in me and expanded my definition of what it means to be an artist; however, it was not until two years ago that I started pushing my artistic capabilities.

It all started in the summer of 2020, after graduating high school at the height of the pandemic. With three long months ahead of me, I started creating and posting digital fan art as I prepared to start university. I would gather pictures of friends and family, stills from my favorite K-dramas and photos of K-pop groups I was listening to, and trace them to create design-focused pieces. 

Looking back, I do not think I ever considered my early work to be art. It was just a fun little hobby for me to unwind — my digital coloring book. And yet, it marked the start of my changing relationship with art.

I continued making fan art throughout the next couple of months. Over time, I felt like I was not growing as an artist. Everything I created felt repetitive and rigid. I was not motivated to create. Finally, I realized it was time to move on to something different — something more challenging.

Gauri Raje

So, I decided to dip my feet into making digital portraits. Over the summer of 2021, my fan art evolved from design-focused trackwork to more elaborate and detailed drawings. I watched tutorials on YouTube and worked on improving my digital art, one step at a time. By the end of the year, I could see an improvement in my art. And trust me when I say this — there is nothing more rewarding than watching your rigorous practice pay off in your art’s steady improvement. 

As my digital art began to improve, I had the urge to get better at sketching. I remember picking up a pencil to draw every chance I got — during free time, at night after I would finish studying and even between and during classes. With every new sketch, I felt more confident in my drawing ability. This newfound confidence even pushed me to try painting, a form of art that has eluded me for all these years. 

Finally, I was fully motivated to create art again. 

During this time, I learned one of the most beneficial lessons as an artist — the importance of practice and consistency. Like many other activities, practice is the best way to improve your art. Artistic inclination and talent are important, but so is the will to get better and challenge yourself to try new things. For me, practice made a world of difference. I went from being a mediocre artist who often felt daunted by blank paper to one that could draw with ease.

Gauri Raje

Today, I find myself reaching for my sketchbook every time I feel overwhelmed with something. What started as a simple hobby transformed into a love of drawing the things and people I like — friends, family, characters, actors or artists. To me, it is an indirect way of documenting what my life is like at the moment through the people I choose to draw.

Just like my bullet journal, my sketchbooks have become a time capsule of my art. I often find myself flipping through my older art, reminiscing back to my childhood, thinking of the young girl who loved creating art but let go of it at some point to focus on other things. She would be proud of the progress I have made, and she would be happy to see me weave creativity back into my life.

Of course, that is not to say I am fully satisfied with my art. I want to continue pushing my limits as an artist. I want to challenge myself to try something new whenever I get comfortable with my art. I want to keep growing as an artist and find new ways to express myself. Because that is what art is — a dynamic, ever-changing creative outlet.