Q: How do you overcome block?
A: I don't really suffer block often, but when I feel the need for more ideas I review my old work (finished pieces, sketchbooks, etc). I find that seeing the ideas I have had in the past generates fresh ones. For me, looking at someone else’s work is less helpful because it’s not MY style and MY though process, thus it requires more work to extract the kernel of what I see in another writer/artist’s creation and then own it.
Q: What do you do for inspiration?
A: I meditate, do yoga, leave the house and explore a random part of town, or otherwise relax. It’s always when you stop trying to force yourself to generate ideas, that you end up with the best ones. I find that when I’m in the shower or just lapsing into thought while driving, listening to music or otherwise performing a menial task that doesn’t require brain power I come up with all sorts of new things to do. Exposure to fresh subjects via photography trips (i.e, gathering new reference material), chatting with other artists oat a cafe or bar, diving into art/craft stores and resale shops or learning about something new (going to a historical place you haven’t been to before, reading about a subject you know nothing about, etc) and then reflecting these back onto what you’re interested in provides boundless new possibilities.
Q: What are some practices that help keep you going ever upward?
A: Always change up what you do. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new media. Try collaborating with, teaching, or critiquing others as all of these inform and expand your capacity. Always keep yourself on the edge of your comfort zone, because the moment you lapse into what’s comfortable, guess what? All you’re doing is treading the same ground over and over until you’re in a rut. Join an art society even if it has nothing to do with the specific thing you do. Get together with other artists or writers either in person or via Google Hangout (you can screenshare what you’re working on now, watch YouTube, play games, etc). Get out into the world and see what’s going on in the comic shop, at the con, in the galleries, at the fairs, wherever creativity is found. Don’t limit your horizons to just the specific field you work in and you’ll find that you have new and different things to offer which set you apart from those with narrow scopes. Remain open and receptive and actively seek feedback. Talk about your work – it focuses your brain on your goals and interests.
Q: What advice do you wish someone had told you about that darn old "Artist's Block"?
A: Given that I bounce from project to project (working on all of them consistently, slowly but simultaneously) I really can’t say that I have suffered “Artist’s Block” much. At any given time my studio is a flurry of all manner of styles, media and creations. I keep myself fresh by rotating from one to the next. I will work on one heavily and then back off and switch gears to a different project to avoid burnout.