Make your mark: Getting friendly with the blank page

Why is it so hard to just get started?

We stare at the blank page: a fresh sheet of paper, or an empty canvas, or a new page in a new sketchbook, or a white screen with a blinking cursor. And it stares back.

Any creative act is a conversation between you (the creator) and everything that plays a role in co-creation—the art materials, the swirl of words, the memory that incites you to record it. It’s an interactive dance.

But the blank page feels like a stranger… a daunting, distant, indifferent stranger. How can you ask a stranger to dance with you?

In making visual art, there’s only one way I know of to get friendly with the blank page. You have to make a mark. Just one mark.

A mark can be:

  • a line of ink, or a scribble;
  • a splash or smear of paint;
  • one piece of torn paper glued down;
  • one jagged shape cut away;
  • a dot or speck or splotch.

Making a mark, any tiny mark, un-blanks the page. It gives you somewhere to go next. And it lets you step into flow, that happy place where you forget about the destination because you’re having too much fun enjoying the journey.

Let the process lead you there, one mark at a time.

Looking for a fun place to practice mark-making? Check out the Art Journaling 101 workshop series! There are still seats available in the July 7 workshop, which focuses on collage techniques. Register here or email us at to reserve your spot.

About Tracy @ Bent Tuba Studio

Claim your creative power! We offer art workshops and other resources for women who want to reconnect with their inner artist.

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