Overcoming Artist's Block

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Overcoming Artist's Block

Books to Awaken Your Creativity

Are you in an artistic rut? Artist's block got you down? The following books are sure to help you get back in your creative zone.

I've selected a few titles that have personally helped me, and one new publication that I can't wait to download.

No matter your discipline, any of these books will inspire you to lose your fears, get loose and start creating art once again.

Collage Lab: Experiments, Investigations, and Exploratory Projects by Bee Shay
This book includes more than 30 collage activities for the painter, mixed-media artist, or illustrator. One may not even need to purchase extra supplies or or need loads of time to get reinvigorated.

Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists by Jenny Doh
Many artists take themselves way too seriously. This book is awesome because the exercises force you to loosen up and have fun. All one needs for most exercises is paper, pen and maybe a little humor.

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory
I have not read this book. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Danny Gregory's An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers.

Art Before Breakfast is Gregory's latest art inspiration book that offers 5-10 minute exercises for artists at every level. It is now on my to-read shelf, and I can't wait to download it.

Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine?: The Art of Making Zines and Mini Comics by Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson
Making zines is an exciting way to overcome artist's block. What I love the most about creating zines is that it is an inclusive and liberating process that also includes self-publishing. I learned how to be a zinester from this book, and use this book to teach others. Any artist can write, draw, collage or photocopy their way out of an artistic rut.

Whatcha Mean is humorous and accessible, and includes the history of zines.

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts
It's cool if you're not on Team Martha. I get it if "Fine Art" is your thing and the much-maligned, so called "domestic arts" are not. But, if you need a jolt to get back on your artistic grind, this treasury is awesome. Not only are the photos gorgeous and the layout user-friendly, but it includes clear, step-by-step instructions for basic sewing and fabric crafts that will get you excited to create.

Most importantly, you get great background information on techniques and materials and will be able to learn a few techniques that will enhance your printmaking, painting, and mixed-media work -- including block printing and dyeing. My favorite projects to get my creative juices flowing are felted and stuffed animals/creatures and making books and journals.