Highlighted

Share your smarts: Overcoming the fear of a blank canvas

Adobe Employee ,
Apr 16, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

"Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can't' once and for all. - Vincent Van Gogh"

It would be fair to say that all of us at some point in our professional lives have had to deal with a blank canvas wondering if we were at our creative end, and if we should throw away everything and do something else with our lives. But we did persevere, and it was worth it in the end.

We would like to hear your stories and suggestions for dealing with a blank canvas, and how you overcome your initial jitters. Everything that you share will benefit the thousands of experience designers that make their way to this forum every single day.

We will feature the best guidance on our social media properties, with the required citations, and with your permission.

Thanks,

Preran

Views

2.7K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more

Share your smarts: Overcoming the fear of a blank canvas

Adobe Employee ,
Apr 16, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

"Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can't' once and for all. - Vincent Van Gogh"

It would be fair to say that all of us at some point in our professional lives have had to deal with a blank canvas wondering if we were at our creative end, and if we should throw away everything and do something else with our lives. But we did persevere, and it was worth it in the end.

We would like to hear your stories and suggestions for dealing with a blank canvas, and how you overcome your initial jitters. Everything that you share will benefit the thousands of experience designers that make their way to this forum every single day.

We will feature the best guidance on our social media properties, with the required citations, and with your permission.

Thanks,

Preran

Views

2.7K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 16, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I've heard this sort of thing from a lot of people. Not just about creative software but any sort of project. I think the most important thing is to START. Yeah, you might start over, revise, whatever... but by that time you will have more direction and focus - and that is more useful than a blank canvas.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

@Joseph - using your comment as a springboard.

Don't wait around for inspiration. This quote from painter Chuck Close is a favorite:

"Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case."

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Engaged ,
Apr 16, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was that the first stroke of a painting is the most difficult and, qualitatively, the least important. To make the first mark you have to overcome inertia. The ease and comfort of doing nothing. But the moment you start, the first stroke leads to and informs the second which informs the third. Before long you have a direction, then a perspective. You can always go back and cover the first stroke. But it will always be the one that started it all.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Advisor ,
Apr 16, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The blank canvas syndrome can apply to any dreaded experience. So it is all about attitude! After collecting successful experiences you will not dread the blank canvas beginning. Joy comes with knowing you can do something again and again. And you will improve.

I have a sketchbook with me at all times and I rough out an idea or project - nothing grand, just a few circles and squares placed on a page, maybe a perspective guideline or two. These sketches serve to stimulate my imagination if I am stalled and without a fresh idea.

I call creating art playing with the tools and colors. I am always looking for a happy accident that is worth saving.  Try not to become too serious about starting a project. Approach it as a child would. Picasso found this out late in life - it worked for him.

When I had a limited supply of paper and colors, I would worry about how best to use the

expensive paper or canvas. Now, digital art has unlimited canvases and paint and colors without end.  If you have created something wonderful once, you know you can repeat that and even do better work. If you are new to the digital art world, you will want to get to know your equipment and what inspires you.

I am inspired and enjoy strolling through the various portfolios on Adobe Stock and other Stock offerings.

My summary, attitude is everything. Fear nothing. Be who you are and express it.

Joan Arlin Hibbs

Artist/Illustrator

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 16, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hello,

If it is true, initiation will always be difficult, but why be afraid to start if experiences are learned. It's not just going to the canvas and seeing what you achieve. In particular before starting anything, I will explore a little, trends, jobs, internet, pages like Behance or Pinterest becomes a sea of ideas.

Some recommend watching movies, reading a bit, what would I say, look for that, that inspires us, look for scratch for scratching, in a notebook, on a board, wherever, that first step may not be the best, but it will be the that leaves behind as experience, then from that minimum, either line or point, a wonderful job comes out.

Then go to the computer and begin to capture everything, not always the first step of the brush are the final, but I can put that step for the final all.

Regards,

Wilder

WbolanosCo

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 16, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Get a stack of old magazines & scissors.  Cut out images of whatever appeals to you and paste them into an art journal or scrap book.  It can be anything you like -- typography, colors, shapes, textures, designs, you name it.

What to do when the creative juices stop flowing:

  • Refer to your art journal for inspiration.
  • Listen to music.
  • Get outdoors and take some pictures. 
  • Spend the afternoon at an art museum.
Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
LEGEND ,
Apr 17, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I'm going to go down the website and application route, mainly because that is my speciality.

Many these days start without looking at the audience that they are designing and building the site/app for. Which is a mistake in my experiance, simply because doing so has 2 major problems -

  1. If you don't know what your users require, then you don't know how anything should work or look.
  2. You end up with a site/app built for yesterday, not tomorrow.

Following trends is fine if you don't mind being mediocre, to avoid this, once you know the end users requirements and stop thinking that the site/app is for you or your employer/client, you can start to inovate, the first thing to do is turn off your computer.

Then the important work starts, get your notebook and sketch pads out.

Create at least 3 user profiles, list everything you have been told/reaserched/think about how/why/what each individual using the site/app would like, would require, would want in the future.

Make sketches of how each and every page/section is connected, and don't forget that a website/app is not restricted to having the same layout for every page.

Next design the layout(s), how you would like them to be (sketching). Forget every web design that you have used/seen and use the knowledge gleamed from your user profiles, remember that if you can do it in inDesign, you can do it on the web, if you can do it in an animation, you can do it on the web, (etc, etc) and finally, you think of what you would like without any limitations, (you bring a website/app down to reality later).

The main limitation of any website/app, is the designers thinking.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 24, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Great answer, pziecina !

It's indeed wrong to start staring at a blank canvas in Adobe XD. There needs to be some stage before that: the exploration of needs, ideas, constraints, and many other UX matters, followed by sketches, sketches, and maybe some more sketches. And only then you can start drawing wireframes and create decent mockups and prototypes in XD.

BTW, not every design element or detail needs to be thought out or thought through as if it were the first time this element existed. There are many collections of resources, pattern libraries, and other reusable designs and materials based on conventions already available.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...