5 Ways to Be Productive When You Have Artist’s Block

Hi and welcome back to another week on the Chrissie Murphy Designs blog.  Today I’m sharing 5 Ways to Be Productive When You have Artist’s Block.

First up, let me say what this post isn’t… This post isn’t a way to defeat Artist’s Block. I want to stress that the five things I’m going to share, are simply items that you can be working on during a period of Artist’s Block.  If you have Artist’s Block or you feel like you have lost your Mojo, then this post is NOT going to be the solution. Sorry peeps, it just isn’t. I want to help you in the waiting though, so without further ado, let’s get into it.

5 Ways to be Productive when you have Artist's Block


The most important thing you can do to be productive while you are waiting for your Mojo to return is to read. Read self-help books, read fiction, read how-to books, read blogs and read magazines. Read anything that takes your fancy, because what are you doing is keeping your mind active and open to the possibilities of learning through other sources.

Books I’ve been ReadingAs human beings we are wired to learn from the minute we are born. As toddlers, we’re learning from our parents and siblings about how to do things like walk and talk. Then we go to school and we’re taught how to read and write. We learn the basics of what we’re going to need to function as competent adults in the world. When school or university finishes, we think the job of learning is done and for many of us this marks the end of reading.

But learning never ends.  You are never too old to learn something new. When you read, you open yourself up to learning and who knows, maybe… just maybe, you might discover the motivation you need to create.


This sort of follows on from above in that I’m still talking about learning.  But this time, it’s about investing in yourself. It’s important to keep learning, that’s why I also recommend enrolling in an online course or joining a workshop that’s being held nearby.

Two of the best online places for learning are Creative Live and Skillshare. I’ve used both and each of them offer quality content with quite a significant range of courses to be able to choose from. The content is in depth, you cover all aspects of whatever it is you’re trying to learn, so you’re making an investment.

Work in Progress - Sketching and Inking StageI’ve taken numerous hand lettering and blogging classes through both sites and have found the courses to be really motivating. The skills I learned along the way have stayed with me as well.  So I’ve really seen this as an investment in my creative learning.

So… while you’re in the midst of Artists Block, invest in yourself! Take the time to enrol in something and add some new skills to your creative arsenal.


Get out there and interact! Interact with other artists, with followers of your work and with people you admire.

As you’re surfing your social media pages and you’re liking other people’s work, take some time to engage with them. Leave a comment or some feedback.  Leave something insightful that says you know what you’re talking about. I must stress though that it’s important that you be genuine!  Don’t go commenting just for the sake of it, you can spot a faker a mile off!

Genuine comments only…

I know when I receive genuine comments on my work, I feel like I want to interact with the person who left them.  It’s because they touch my heart. Here’s the thing, the person you most admire, or your fellow peers in the craft are no different. They like genuine comments and feedback on their work as well.

Work in progress- Ink and Copic StageThere is a spiritual law that says “you reap what you sow”. So for example, if you sow negativity in your life, you are going to reap negativity. Let’s say that during this time you have Artist’s Block, you spend it encouraging other artists.  You build up others in what they love to do.  The law says that the same kinds of things will come back to you.

It might just be that when someone returns a comment in kind, a spark ignites inside you and your Artist’s Block is broken. Who knows?? What I do know is, it can’t happen unless you get out there and interact.


Be incidental with your art. Be alert to opportunities that arise during a normal day to express yourself artistically and creatively.

Let me give you an example… You’ve just finished writing in a birthday card you bought for a friend and you’re getting ready to mail it. Use this opportunity to decorate the envelope.  Practice some lettering and different handwriting, be creative with the envelope.

Decorated envelope for Mail ArtAnother example might be transferring a recipe you’ve scribbled on a post-it note to your family recipe book. Use this opportunity to fancy it up.  Draw some veges, write the heading in calligraphy, or get out your washi tapes and make a fun border or index tab for it. What you’re doing is grabbing an opportunity, when it presents itself, to have some fun and have a play.

Don’t stop at art and drawing though… get creative in other ways

You can even get creative with the way you dress! Don’t believe me? Check out the queen of artistic expression through style, Iris Apfel. This amazing woman will inspire you to think creatively with what you wear.

What I’m sharing here is that over time, you’ll begin to see lots of different ways you can incorporate your creativity into everyday life. If you do it often enough, it becomes a habit.  It becomes the way you do things, and this is something you can build upon.


And lastly you’ve got to trust. So yesterday I woke to pouring rain. When it rains it makes my plants glimmer as the water shines on their leaves, and the air smells so fresh. It makes my garden look beautiful and the sound of rain pouring is just so peaceful. I sat outside for a bit taking it all in, and it was here that the Lord started to stir me.

Green Plants coming alive in the rainHe stirred me through the beauty I was seeing. He was making colours come alive. I was seeing every shade of green that you could possibly think of, looking its absolute best. I was being stimulated, and after a while I felt compelled to head inside, pick up a pen and draw. So this piece I’m sharing in today’s post, was heavily inspired by yesterday’s rain.  But it got me thinking, “would I have created it if it hadn’t been raining?

Generally speaking, where I live is hot and humid and during the summer months and I find it difficult to create in the heat. Basing my decision to the above question on this, I believe, that if yesterday had of been one of those hot and humid days, this piece would not have been created. What the Lord showed me yesterday was a lesson in trust.

Finished piece - Ink, Coloured Pencil, Biro and CopicsI thought about all the times I’d had Artist’s Block, or the times when the weather had been crazy hot and I didn’t want to draw.  I realised that the Lord already knows my motivations. He knows how He’s made me, what stimulates me and what inspires me. He’s God! What He has shown me is that I need to I let go of the worries I have about creating and instead trust Him. I can trust that He is sure to inspire and motivate me.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

In Proverbs 3:5 it says to Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, this applies to our creating too. You can trust him to stimulate you, to evoke in you the desire to create, and prompt you in what to create. When He does, it will be just what you need for that moment. How much better will we feel when we no longer worry or stress about what to create and instead just trust that we will. It’s liberating!

So there you have it, my Five Ways to Be Productive When You Have Artist’s Block.

How many of these things are you already doing? Are you doing any of them at all? Let me know in the comments. If you’re in the grip of Artist’s Block, I hope you’ve been encouraged by this post – you can still be creatively productive! Feel free to share this post, in doing so you’ll be sowing some encouragement into your friends lives, its what we want to be doing.

Why not push in that big further be more creatively Expressive?

Join my Expressive’s List to begin to learn ways you can start to express yourself creatively. There are no moulds or limits with the Lord, just possibilities and the promise of one day unearthing who you were created to be.

Expressive Subscribers receive an email each month that contains creative inspiration and ideas, links to helpful resources and a month’s worth of journal prompts to stimulate creative expression. These prompts are a great way of learning to express yourself when you’ve never really tried it before. Fill in your details below to sign up.

Until next time, listen to your heart and sharpen your coloured pencils. A masterpiece awaits!

Bless you my friend

Chrissie xx

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