Kill Art Block NOW with Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee is known the world over for his success in bringing Kung Fu to the west by starring in such films as “Enter the Dragon” and “The Chinese Connection”. In addition to his star power as a martial artist, Bruce Lee was also a practical philosopher who applied what he learned into his own practice. Below are some quotes from the late martial arts master to inspire us in our own battle against art block!

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

Bruce Lee

Skill is only a portion of the equation, but dedication is everything. When you dedicate yourself to practice and study you can only improve in your craft. I really do believe that anyone can draw, and that “talent” simply is hard work that is recognized.

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Bruce Lee

Use what you have and keep pushing the boundaries of what you can do. You might not have a Cintiq or a fancy iPad, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it with charcoal and paper. Embrace what you have and see how you can work with it to make something great!

Draw different subjects. Use different media. We learn the most when we are restless and ready to try something new. Negative self-talk also counts as a limitation. Stop wallowing in self-defeat and, instead, think of everything you do as a learning opportunity.

“…we have more faith in what we imitate than what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its roots in us.”

Bruce Lee

In other words, dear artist, use references! Also, study other artists’ work. Don’t just stick with what you know. Inspirations abound in every place we look. When viewed from the lens of defeating art block, draw from observation! It’s a great way to take the pressure off from having to create something entirely from within ourselves.

 “Everything you do, if not in a relaxed state will be done at a lesser level than you are proficient. Thus the tensed expert marksman will aim at a level less than his/her student.” 

Bruce Lee

Good ideas or inspiration can’t be forced. The majority of us do our best work when we are relaxed and not focused on the pressure of having to make something “great”. Don’t look at drawing as pressure. Think of it as a means of creative play.

Now, let’s pick up our pencils and round-house kick some art block!