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How I overcome a creative block

Every now and then I like to switch things up and take a break from my traditional form of painting, which has allowed me to attempt many different mediums throughout the years. The reason for experimenting with new mediums is to mentally give myself a break and prevent myself from getting repetitive with my work.

Starting with a new medium gives me a feeling of curiosity again, that feeling I had when I first started painting. There are no expectations and no overthinking. Just simply experimenting with no regards of the outcome, and to me that is the most satisfying way to overcome an artist or mental block. The curiosity of experimenting allows me to break free from the noise within my own head.

This process began in August of 2016. I was becoming very overwhelmed and I felt like the work I was producing was being forced and it lacked substance. So I told myself that I would take an entire month break from painting, and I had never done that before. But I was determined to stick it out and not paint.

As I went through August and into the beginning of September I was itching to create, but I wanted to stay true to the idea of not painting something on a large scale, but I was just itching to be creative.

So I decided I would try something new, something I had never done before. I bought a sketchbook and I bought some oil pastels and watercolor pencils, and I just started sketching. The beauty is I had no idea how to use either medium so it was refreshing to learn all over again without over thinking the process. I was just simply free styling and drawing whatever came to mind.

And it was that moment that I realized how freeing it was for me mentally. It was refreshing to just create without putting these expectations on myself of how the art should look or feel. That was when I decided going forward that whenever I have an artist block I would just try something new to help bring back that innocence of simply creating for the love of it rather than trying to force it.

That concept of experimenting has continued throughout my career, and that’s the reason I have developed so many different styles and techniques including my ink blots, my large scale mixed media drawings, and my large scale pastels paintings.

As an artist I believe it’s important to just create and not put yourself into a box. Be free, try new things, and allow your creative mind to take control.

Below is a time lapse video of me creating one of my mixed media drawings. Enjoy!

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Justin Winkel
Justin Winkel
Apr 30, 2020

Thank you Donna I really appreciate that.


Donna Palumbo
Donna Palumbo
Apr 30, 2020

Congratulations Justin on finding something new. So refreshing and beautiful!!

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