One simple step to overcome blank page syndrome

Have you ever felt you wanted to create art but when it came to it you froze as you did not know what you actually wanted to draw/paint? I have loads of times.  Some of that freeze is down to what is known in the creative world as the “blank page syndrome”.  It can also be down to our own perceptions of what we think we “should” be doing verses what we believe we “can” do, in other words our self confidence but that is a whole different conversation lol Today I am exploring the blank page………

That moment you get, say, your art journal out, you open it up and you are faced with the blank page.  How do you get from staring at that blank page to actual creating? There are actually a number of different ways you can overcome this.  Todays article is an explanation of one simple way that I recently used to create an art journal page, to help me overcome blank page syndrome.  To find out the answer read on. A timelapse process video of the art journal page is also available at the end of this article.

So here we are, we have our book open or our single sheet in front of us and we want to create but do not know where to start.  The simplest in principle is to “just start” to make a mark on the page. However, I realise that is much easier to say than to do.  Remember though, there is no right and wrong there are always ways you can change or alter your work to adjust to the marks you make.  My visual example today is within the realm of art journaling and so anything goes really as there are loads of layers and the first layer usually gets covered anyway.   But I just want to reassure you it also works for fine art too.  When I am stuck what to do I “just start” with a simple sketch on a separate bit paper. Putting the first lines down (even if they are totally out of proportion to begin with) makes the difference between moving forward or staying staring at a blank page. It is a mind set, when all is said and done.  The moment there is a mark regardless of how large or small it is no longer a blank page so automatically becomes less intimidating.  It may require more than one sketch before I am happy with what I want to then transfer onto the paper or canvas my finished project is being done on but I do find I move forward quicker if I just make a start, no matter how small.

Ok so you have decided to just “go for it” perhaps it is not that simple, perhaps you are faced with “what on earth will I use to make that start?” pencil for a sketch first? or paint? or pastels? or????????? oh the more art supplies you have the more difficult the choice can be.

Now sometimes the project itself will determine what media you use but in this instance I had a blank page and the end goal was a project that had a pretty wide remit.  I had to create a page that represented my goal word for 2017 (it is the New Year and goal setting is trending) What I did was to consider what I had not used in a while.  This happened to be gel sticks (a cheaper version of gelatos, they were first to hand)

Once I had these out I got started by simply writing my word Freedom on my page and scribbling the other colours round about.  The gel sticks are water activated so I used a brush and some water to spread the colour all over the page.  I was doing this without too much thought as I really did not care what this part looked like I knew it was getting covered up with another layer.  like this……..

I used my tim holtz distress paints, another art supply I had not used in a while.  The paint all over my hand happened when the sponge dabber of the paint pot came off and paint came out in a blob lol this was not an issue as this “accident” just became part of the process as I spread the paint about using my fingers anyway.

So you see I have gone from staring at the blank page to actually creating. I am now on my second layer and producing work.  Try it, it works.  If you find yourself staring at a blank page pick an art supply you have not used for a while and just start, make that first mark and see where it takes you.  If you are interested in how the page turned out carry on reading.

Layer 3 was picking an acrylic paint that contrasted with the paint colours already used.  Using a bit of bubble wrap I stamped the paint all over the art journal double page spread.  This was fun to do too.

Layer 4 was adding a little more time holtz paint and using a roller with a light colour acrylic paint to push some of the colour into the background and make the page look a little more cohesive and one picture rather than being just a busy collection of random marks and shapes.

Layer 5 and 6.  Layer 5 was stamping all using versafine ink (this does not reactivate with water) and a couple of butterfly stamps.  Layer 6 was using the stabilo all pencil to draw round circle shapes and write back in my word for 2017 which is Freedom.

The final layer was a little bit of ink splashing and drippage using my acrylic bottle inks and I used acrylic ink to fill some colour on the butterfly wings.

here is the final product my word for 2017.

This was such a fun and freeing page to create.  I had a lot of fun.  I hope you have enjoyed reading about the process and learning one simple way to overcome blank page syndrome.  Find below the link to my video which was inspired by a January challenge set by a facebook group I am a member of called Art ‘n Soul.  More details about the group can be found in the description of my video.  Till next time, thanks for reading I am Tania from tartantaz creates wishing you a sparkly creative day 🙂