Kaitlin Moon asked me: “Do you ever experience artist block and what is your cure that you use to overcome it?”
That happens when I get bored of a subject, technique, process… because I did it too often or because I’m not in this mood anymore (that’s why my style has changed a lot after years, and it still changes).
If I really want to draw or paint right now, but I’m blocked because I don’t see any idea/feeling coming up, I can start the process differently, or use other materials, for example:
- by breaking my habits: instead of starting with the face of a character, I’m gonna start with his feet, or the environment behind the characters, or the outline before the abstract shapes of a painting, or by using oil instead of water-colour, etc…
- look for subjects I’ve never tried before,
- try collaborations with other artists,
- find a mentor who can drive me,
- ask friends (artists or not) to comment my work, or to share their opinions, ideas,
- try new styles (realistic, cartoon, naïve, …), deform my “graphic codes”,
- try new softwares,
- practice and learn new techniques,
- impose to myself a short deadline,
- look for another place to work, to change my mind,
- make some researches about what inspires me,
- have a break and try again later… :)
If I’m still not convinced by what I’m doing, I stop for real, for a while, and I start doing something else (usually hanging out with my friends :p). Sometimes I stop drawing for a week, 3 months… And then the inspiration comes back naturally (and that can affect my style in a good way).
If this is for work, this is not really the same process nor the same context: there is a client behind my work brief who pays me for a result and I have a deadline. My brain is not in free wheel: I have to think about design, setting up elements in action, choose or practice the requested style, follow the references, be (almost) sure about the process I’m gonna use, to be efficient and respond to the brief.
Sometimes it’s hard, especially when I didn’t practice a specific style for a long time, or when this is totally new. In both cases, the exciting part is the challenge. I need to practice during some hours, even a day or 2, to feel more confident, because the technique and the idea of workflow are finally coming back.
“Where do you draw inspiration from when creating your more in-dept digital art pieces like the second from the right piece featured above? (Delilah character from Dishonored)”
From my instinctive brain, I guess. I started to grow and practice this style around 2006. I had and still have graphic patterns, recurrent codes, such as my intuition for colours, organic shapes, face expressions, moods… However the context of this image was contradictorily a commission, but the client gave me “carte blanche”. They were just specific by choosing this style I used to do years ago, and they asked me to follow the subject: the Delilah character from the game Dishonored (Arkane Studios / Bethesda).