Where I’m teaching 

Squam Fall 2014

Sept. 10-14



@2007-2013 All artwork, including
doodled icons, banner, portfolio work,
and journal pages are the property
of Dawn DeVries Sokol. Please do not
steal or copy for your use, especially
on your web site. Thank you.






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Pikaland’s Good to Know: Issue 11

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When Prompts Don’t Work

In Doodle Camp, one of the campers emailed me at the end of the week with this question:

Here's an interesting question, maybe for a discussion somewhere?

What happens when the prompts don't get the juices flowing?  I found that to be the case with Friday's prompts.  I couldn't get out of my own way.  So, I went back to some of my other pages.  Doodling is supposed to be fun and help loosen things up, but I had doodler's block.

Just wondering if it happens often and how others deal with it?

Thanks, Carol

I wanted to post this here because I think many of you will benefit from this discussion.

Creative blocks happen, no matter what type of media we’re working with or techniques we’re using. I get blocked too often as far as I’m concerned! What we choose to do during the block is key.

As Carol says above, “I couldn’t get out of my own way.” That’s pretty much the problem. Creative blocks are caused by thinking too much and/or being worn down. If you’re feeling blocked, don’t force it. Go for a walk, go see a movie, read a good book. Get out of your studio or away from your art. I always see things for what they are when I return.

It’s totally normal to feel uninspired. Even if you’re taking an online class that you thought would be an answer. If you’re not feeling it, you’re not, and that’s OK! Give yourself permission to turn it off for a while, at least until you feel some kind of spark. I love that feeling when I get inspired: I get a burst of adrenaline and it feels as if my blood’s pumping faster, my heart’s beating quicker, and my eyes feel wider and more open. But it won’t happen 24 hours a day, it might not even happen for days on end. Don’t worry, though. It will return! And when it does, make sure to take full advantage of it.

What do you do to spark inspiration or get through a block?

Reader Comments (1)

I step away from whatever it is that I am struggling with, and do something entirely different, whether that is reading a book, or writing, or watching a movie or going for a walk. But if it goes on too long, I just pick some paint and a brush and turn to a blank journal page and begin to make a bad page. No expectations, but if I have given it time, and that hasn't worked, I find making a bad page and getting the gunk out can sometimes break through what is going on. And sometimes those pages turn out pretty good.

I also find that my creativity is quite cyclical, so I go through cycles of being inspired by everything and overwhelmed with ideas, and then other times that I wonder if I will ever have another original idea in my life and thinking I am completely washed up.

Knowing, since I have been doing this for a little while now and am aware of the cycles I go through, that though I am feeling dry of any ideas that they will come back to me, is also something I hold on to, and can be an inspiration in itself. A time to reflect and grow and develop skills so when I come back refueled and inspired I feel like I am on fire.

The first few times I felt completely uninspired scared me though. Now I know my own self more, I don't tend to buy into the stories I tell myself as much.

09.1 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

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