Wednesday, August 31, 2016

No Doodle Left Behind, by Mike Ciccotello

©2016 Mike Ciccotello
As creators, we all suffer from those maddening creative blocks. Picture yourself walking along a beautiful path of sunshine and daydreams. Rainbows of light shoot from your hands and everything you create is the most amazing idea ever.

©2016 Mike Ciccotello

Then, out of nowhere, you SMACK your face right into a giant wall and bruise your nose. You can't seem to figure out where it came from, or how to get around it. You try to push it down. Then you try jumping to reach the top or walking around it. It's HUGE.

As a last ditch effort, you back up and run toward it with all your might, kicking, punching, and screaming. Then you collapse to the ground and cry.
©2016 Mike Ciccotello

We have all heard that taking a break will help. Yes, it does, but if you're like me, you can't take too long of a break. You need to create. Stay calm. Believe in yourself and the best tool you have in your arsenal, your creativity.

At a young age, I was taught to keep a visual diary. It's just a sketchpad or a journal. They come in all sorts of sizes and vary in price. Get one. Write. Draw. Fill it up. Repeat. Do not throw them away. They will serve you well.

©2016 Mike Ciccotello
I keep all of them. They are little windows to my past. I look at various sketches and ideas in a new light. Some are meh, and some are better than meh, but ALL of those ideas have possibility. Don't leave them behind.

The next time you hit that wall and can't think of a way around it, sit down. Pull out your old sketchpads or journals. Pour through the pages and explore your old ideas. Give them a second chance. See if your past self was planting seeds for your future. You may find a secret portal that gets you through that wall. 

©2016 Mike Ciccotello

Twitter: @ciccotello 
Instagram: @ciccotello 


  1. Love the idea of mining your old sketch books for ideas to break through the brick wall and the cute bear cub character you created to illustrate your post. Great tips to keep a visual journal and not throw out your sketch books/journals. I've been keeping journals and sketch books for ages but I tend to put them away and rarely refer to them. Will have to give this a go.

    1. Diana, I'm happy you found it useful. One tip I will share - make sure you have a post-it notepad with you. You may want to bookmark a bunch of different pages. The post-its help a lot.

  2. I love the possibility that my past self was planting seeds for my future endeavors! Thank you, Mike!