I was just talking to an artist friend of mine, Alessandra Dzuba (whose work rules), about artist's block. I had recently hit a slump and needed to take a break before attempting a new project, and was a little scared because I've had bouts of creative crisis before that lasted fucking years. She suggested that I look at an artist whose work I admired and then make a copy or study of one of their pieces - not to show or sell as my own work, but as a means to keep my hand and eye up while getting me out of my comfort zone.
Interestingly, this is actually an exercise that I used to give my drawing students and I had totally forgotten about it! It's a fantastic way to try a new medium or explore subject matter/style that you don't normally work with.
After a ten year hiatus from working with ink, I definitely wanted to try it again, but I had cold feet....after years of working with forgiving (erasable!) graphite, I was super hesitant to pick up my pens. I knew this practice would be a gentle way to jump back in with no risk and the artist that I chose is Minka Sicklinger, whose work I absolutely love.
So far, I've made two drawings this week and I I am getting more comfortable with ink on paper - enough so that I may pick it up again for the next project. In the meantime, I'm posting the results of my homework assignment - and I highly recommend trying this yourself if you are hitting a block in your own work and want to explore something different!