It’s a problem every art journaler will face at one time or another. In fact it’s probably THE problem that keeps the most people from starting. What do you do with that blank page? It’s a problem for us for one of two main reasons; we are afraid or we lack inspiration. I have faced both.
We are afraid to damage our Bibles. We are afraid to make mistakes. We are afraid our efforts aren’t good enough. Especially when it comes to creative efforts we’re afraid of what other people will think of them or us for even attempting them? Fear stops us from doing things.
I most likely would have had art journaling on Bible Buying Guide much sooner if not for fear. It took prayer, reminding myself that perfectionism is a trap, and the thinking closet’s permission pages but I was finally able to start.
My best advice (besides prayer) for dealing with this actually comes from my 12 year old nephew talking to my 22 year old daughter about one of her drawing projects. She had an idea about how to color one of her drawings but was afraid it would be too hard to erase if it didn’t turn out right. He said, “If you are mistaken you’ll learn from it, if not you’ll have a good drawing. What you learn from your mistakes will turn your future drawings into masterpieces.” We are all learning, some learn certain things faster then others, but mistakes are part of the process. We have to acknowledge we aren’t perfect (and we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be) in order to get better at almost anything.
The Bible says in Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (NLT) What an amazing promise – God WILL help up if we let him.
Some posts I found useful for dealing with this problem are:
- Five Tips to Overcoming “Blank Page” Phobia by Krystal Whittin
- Why It’s Okay to be Afraid To Create by Emily Scott
- Journaling Away My Anxiety a Guest post by Janel on Ilustrated Faith
- Embrace Bible Journaling Mistakes by Bethany at Southern Couture
- Rachel Wojo’s No Fear Bible Reading Challenge
(Me – last week) I have a various art mediums post due in 2 days and I still don’t have an entry using acrylic paints. I had inspiration for 1 verse but experimenting on paper and watching videos online have proven my art skills are less than adequate at this point to do a good job with it. Now what?
Whether it’s an actual deadline (you need to have a post or a present done by a certain date), a self imposed deadline ( I will write x number of words this week, I will participate in this weeks art challenge) or pressure to get something done (we don’t feel inspired right now but this is our biggest block of uninterrupted time for days if not weeks) all creative people lack inspiration sometimes.
My best advice for this comes straight from the Bible. Phillippians 4:8 says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (KJV) If we think about pleasant things at least the beginnings of an idea will present itself. For inspiration when Bible art journaling this could include many things. Besides the prayer and Bible reading that starts most journaling sessions inspiration could come from: listening to music, researching words in your passage, reading a different passage or devotional, rereading favorite verses, looking over past projects, looking through your craft supplies, reading your notes from a favorite sermon, reading blogs, keeping a journal of ideas for future projects, Pinterest, or talking to a friend or family member.
This seems to be a much less common problem among Bible art journalers than the fear. I found lots of advice online for getting past creative block from other types of artists but little from the Bible journaling community. I guess making art a part of our study and/or worship and including God gives us the needed inspiration most of the time.
Here are a few posts that might help on the rare occassion you are blocked:
- 7 Steps To Illustrating Your Faith
- Are You New to the Art of Bible Journaling?
- Bible Journaling One Word Resolutions
In my case I made myself step back, take a few deep breaths, and CALM DOWN. All our readers are not going to leave or Bible Buying Guide fail because I am 1 day late with a post or my artwork is less then professional quality. (A little more dramatic then what the voices in my head were actually saying, but you get the idea). I said another prayer then I went through my idea journal and talked to my husband. My journal gave me the idea for Isaiah 45:12 with a night sky and the talk with my husband gave the inspiration for Genesis 9:16 and the rainbow. Neither of which were very complicated but I think they both turned out well.
I plan on doing one of these posts with a little about me and a lot of links to other art journalers about once a month. Is there any specific topic you would like one of these Around the Web posts for? What do you tell yourself to move past fear? Do you know any good articles or verse for helping overcome fear? Have you ever experienced creative block? How do you work through it? Please let us know in the comments.