Initial research

artblockquestion kopio

To continue my research on the area of drawing and illustration, I conducted an extensive online survey as many amateur artists mostly communicate and showcase their work online. The survey focused on the platforms and communities that hobbyists and professional artists use to inspire, create and promote their work.

Some key insights I identified from the survey were:

  • All of the research participants relied on self-directed study and online resources,
 and all of them agreed they have had a positive impact on their artwork.
  • Most stated that the software or materials they are using for their artwork are already expensive, and thus they look for free resources using mostly Google.
  • People found it difficult to come up with ideas for art at least sometimes, and  majority had experiences of both an ”art block” –– which is a sustained state of having trouble producing art, and of a ”fear of white paper” –– which is a difficulty to start creating due to insecurity about their skills or ideas.

The survey also provided many smaller interesting insights on the artist online communities and confidence when it comes to creating and publishing artwork. I’m sure this survey will help me with this project in the future again with smaller details, but for now I identified the key user pains and the needs based on them.


  • It’s difficult to describe reference needs to Google.
  • Not able to access expensive resources.
  • Searching for resources takes time from drawing.
  • Difficulty to come up with ideas for work.
  • Lack of confidence for own work.


  • Affordable or free options.
  • Time efficiency when it comes to practising their skills
  • Inspiration and courage to start drawing
  • Moments of ”small victories” or something to boost their confidence.
  • Exercises to help produce work that is ’finished’ instead of ’perfected’.
  • Ways to express more accurate descriptions of the resources they need to search engines, or other means to access them.

Followed by the survey, I did secondary research on the existing applications and platforms aimed at helping artists, and found out that the existing services are either expensive, too specific or rely on very basic features with no customisation options. Also none of these services focus on easing the art block or negative thinking of one’s work specifically, 
 which is something I want my service to take into account.

Thus I further defined my project outline into the following:

A service that helps amateur artists to come up with new ideas, gain more confidence in their work and find the resources that support their ideas more easily. It will make the self directed practise more streamlined while promoting a positive outlook on the artists own work.

It aims to help people feel more at ease when drawing and to finish their work through focusing on the act of drawing itself, instead of getting too caught on perfectionism and expectations.

The service will also take into account the different approaches people need when trying to overcome art block by allowing them to flex between challenging and lighter prompts.

Published by Virpi Väinölä


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