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Break Free: How to Get Out of a Creative Block for Animators

ben marvazi 2020

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As an animator, you know how exciting it is to come up with new ideas for your next project. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the ideas just won't come. You sit at your desk staring at a blank page or screen, feeling frustrated and stuck. You're experiencing a creative block, a common challenge faced by animators, and it can be tough to overcome.

At Business of Animation, we understand the struggles of animators and want to help you overcome this obstacle. In this post, we will discuss effective strategies on how to break free from a creative block and get back to creating your next masterpiece.

We know that creative blocks can be caused by a variety of factors, such as anxiety, fear of failure, and lack of inspiration. So, if you're ready to break free from your creative block and get back to doing what you love, keep reading!

Understanding The Causes Of Creative Blocks For Animators

boy character looking distressed and confused on how to get out of a creative block and throwing his hands up in the air

 GIF by Disney via GIPHY

Creative blocks are a common challenge faced by animators. Understanding the root cause of your creative block is crucial to overcoming it. Here are some of the common causes of creative blocks among animators:


Anxiety can be a significant cause of creative blocks for animators. The pressure to perform and meet deadlines or expectations can lead to feelings of overwhelm, self-doubt, and insecurity. These negative emotions can stifle your creativity and prevent you from exploring new ideas or taking risks.

Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is another common cause of creative blocks for animators. You may be afraid of making mistakes or not meeting your own or others' high expectations. This fear can make you hesitant to start a new project or make changes to an existing one. Ultimately, it can prevent you from taking risks and experimenting with new ideas, stifling your creativity.

Lack of Inspiration

Sometimes, a lack of inspiration can also be a significant cause of creative blocks for animators. You may feel like you've exhausted all your ideas, and nothing new or exciting comes to mind. This lack of inspiration can be frustrating, leading to a lack of motivation and creativity.

It's important to identify the root cause of your creative block to develop an effective strategy for overcoming it. By understanding what's causing your creative block, you can take steps to address it and get back to creating. In the next section, we'll discuss some strategies for overcoming these common causes of creative blocks for animators.

The Importance Of Identifying The Root Cause Of Your Creative Block

bear thinking with its hand on its mouth and then all of a sudden it thinks of something and the background turns yellow

GIF by Cartoon Network via GIPHY

While these common challenges can be frustrating to deal with, there are strategies you can use to overcome them.

One of the most critical steps in overcoming a creative block is identifying its root cause. The underlying cause of your creative block may not always be apparent, but it's essential to take the time to investigate and identify it. Identifying the root cause of your creative block is crucial to overcoming it, and here's why:

It Allows You To Develop A Targeted Approach

Identifying the underlying cause of your creative block helps you develop a more targeted and effective approach to overcoming it. For example, if anxiety is the root cause of your block, you may need to focus on relaxation techniques and mindfulness practices to calm your mind and reduce stress.

It Helps You Avoid Band-Aid Solutions

If you don't identify the root cause of your creative block, you may end up using band-aid solutions that only provide temporary relief. For example, you may turn to distractions like social media or procrastination to avoid facing the underlying issue. While these distractions may provide temporary relief, they won't solve the root cause of your creative block.

It Prevents the Recurrence Of The Block

Identifying the root cause of your creative block can help you prevent its recurrence in the future. If you only address the symptoms of the block without identifying the underlying cause, it's likely to come back in the future. But if you address the root cause, you can develop a long-term solution that will prevent the block from happening again.

Strategies For How To Get Out Of A Creative Block

referee character looking at his notepad and blows his whistle and continues explaining the football game play by pointing to his board

GIF by The Farm Paris via GIPHY

Now that we've discussed the importance of identifying the root cause of your creative block, let's look at some effective strategies for overcoming it. These strategies will help you develop a targeted approach that addresses the underlying issue and unlocks your creativity.

Change Your Environment

Sometimes, changing your environment can help you break out of a creative block. If you're used to working in the same space every day, try working in a different location, like a coffee shop or a park. This change of scenery can help stimulate your creativity and provide a fresh perspective.

Try A New Approach

If you're stuck in a creative rut, try experimenting with a new approach. For example, if you typically work in 2D animation, try exploring 3D animation or stop-motion animation. This experimentation can help you break out of your comfort zone and spark new ideas.

Collaborate With Others

Collaborating with other animators or creative professionals can help you overcome a creative block. By bouncing ideas off each other and working together, you can stimulate your creativity and gain new perspectives on your work.

Take A Break

Sometimes, taking a break from your work can be just what you need to overcome a creative block. Taking a walk, exercising, or engaging in a hobby can help clear your mind and reduce stress, allowing you to return to your work with a fresh perspective.

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness techniques like meditation or deep breathing can help calm your mind and reduce stress, which can be helpful if anxiety or fear of failure is contributing to your creative block. These techniques can help you stay present at the moment and focused on your work, rather than getting caught up in negative thoughts.

By using these strategies, you can overcome your creative block and unlock your full potential as an animator. In the next section, we'll discuss how our free masterclass can help you overcome the challenges that freelance animators face.

Developing A Routine To Prevent Creative Blocks

sloth character crossing out its schedule and smiling and closing its eyes

GIF by The Creamlovers via GIPHY

Establishing a routine is one of the most effective ways to prevent creative blocks. When you have a routine in place, you know what to expect each day, and you're less likely to get stuck or procrastinate. In this section, we'll discuss the importance of establishing a routine, provide tips for creating one, and highlight the benefits of having a routine in place.

The Importance Of Establishing A Routine To Avoid Creative Blocks

Developing a routine is important because it helps you establish a sense of structure and consistency. When you have a routine, you're less likely to experience sudden changes in your workflow, which can be disruptive to your creative process. A routine also helps you establish good habits and promotes discipline, which is essential for staying on track and avoiding procrastination.

Tips For Establishing A Routine

  1. Setting a regular work schedule: It's important to establish a regular work schedule that you stick to each day. This will help you create a sense of structure and routine, which will make it easier to stay focused and avoid distractions.
  2. Establishing a creative process: Every animator has their own unique creative process, and it's important to establish one that works for you. This might involve sketching out your ideas, storyboarding, or creating rough drafts. By establishing a creative process, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed or stuck and keep your creativity flowing.
  3. Incorporating self-care practices into the routine: Taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining your creativity and avoiding burnout. This might involve incorporating meditation, exercise, or other self-care practices into your daily routine. By taking care of yourself, you'll be better equipped to stay focused and avoid creative blocks.

Routine Benefits And Examples Of How To Break Creative Blocks

Having a routine in place has numerous benefits for animators. It can help you stay focused and motivated, avoid procrastination, and maintain a consistent workflow. Some animators have successfully implemented a routine by setting aside specific times each day for creative work, establishing a set of rituals or routines to help them get into a creative mindset, and incorporating breaks and self-care practices into their routines.

For example, Kyle sets aside three hours each morning for creative work, using a specific set of rituals and routines to help him get into the right mindset. He takes a 10-minute break every hour to stretch and walk around, and he incorporates yoga and meditation into his routine to help him stay focused and calm. By having a routine in place, Kyle is able to stay productive and avoid creative blocks.

Overall, establishing a routine is an effective way to prevent creative blocks and maintain a consistent workflow. By following these tips and incorporating self-care practices into your routine, you can stay motivated, avoid procrastination, and achieve your creative goals.

Now That You Know How To Get Out Of A Creative Block, Find Inspiration

boy character wearing a red cap and a blue cape and he aims his hand at his page and colorful shapes magically appear and rise up


We’ve discussed several effective strategies to help animators overcome creative blocks. We began by exploring the common causes of creative blocks and highlighted the importance of identifying the root cause of the block to address it effectively. We then went on to discuss the benefits of developing a routine to prevent creative blocks from occurring and provided tips for establishing a routine that works for you.

To recap, the strategies we discussed include identifying the root cause of your creative block, taking a break and engaging in other creative activities, seeking feedback and support from others, and developing a routine to prevent creative blocks.

If you're a freelance animator facing challenges, we encourage you to attend our free masterclass on overcoming challenges faced by freelance animators. In this masterclass, we’ll share practical tips and strategies that have helped many animators succeed in their careers.

In conclusion, creative blocks are a common challenge for animators, but there are many strategies that you can use to overcome them. The key is to take action and try out different strategies until you find what works best for you. Remember, creativity is a journey, and it’s okay to encounter roadblocks along the way. The important thing is to keep moving forward and breaking free from any creative blockages that come your way.

As always, we would love to hear from you! Do you have any other strategies for overcoming creative blocks that you'd like to share? We encourage you to join our community of animators in our Animation Business Accelerator program or follow us on our social media channels to share your tips and connect with other creatives.

Remember, the more we share our experiences and learn from one another, the stronger and more successful we become as a community.

To further yourself on your journey to becoming a master animator, it will be beneficial to master running your own animation business as well. Learn How to Start an Animation Studio or join our Animation Business Accelerator program. 

If you are not sold on the idea of working for yourself just yet, watch our free masterclass or download a copy of our free marketing handbook.

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