It is not at all uncommon for life to get in the way and art to have to be put on hold for a few weeks…or 20 years. It happens. I have 4 tips for you today to get you back on your artistic path.
1) You didn’t “lose it”. Whenever you don’t do something for a while, it can take a bit of work to get back to where you were. The longer your break was, the longer it will take for things to fall back into place. This doesn’t mean that somehow the talent fair sneaked in while you were sleeping and stole it all from you. I had a violin teacher that used to tell me “if you skip one day of practicing, I will be able to tell. If you skip two days of practicing, YOU will be able to tell. If you skip 3 days, EVERYONE will be able to tell”. While the amount of time missed is a bit more forgiving with painting and drawing, the theory is the same. It’s ok if you’re not exactly where you were skill/technique-wise when you come back to art. That is normal! Keep at it and you will be back in no time!!
2) Being afraid to start isn’t going to get you anywhere. Worst case scenario: you’re painting comes out ugly. SO WHAT!? If nothing else you got a feel for the medium again and you were reminded of what not to do. If it looks bad: Paint more. If it looks good: Paint more.
3) There is a good chance that what amazing work you created in your glory days was not quite as good as you’re remembering it to be. SO often when we spend hours and hours in front of a painting we get so that all we see is what we don’t like. A week or a month, or years later even, you may go back to that piece and have forgotten about all those things you disliked. All you see is what you loved. Not everyone does this, but I’ve seen it a LOT over the years. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your old work was always better. It probably wasn’t as big of a difference as you’re thinking.
4) Just pick up a paint brush or pencil and paint something small. A smaller study of something can sometimes build your confidence back up a lot faster than tackling a giant piece that may take months to complete. You don’t need your first few paintings when you’re back at the easel to be your next masterpiece. Just play around with your paint or pencils to start reminding yourself of the feel of the medium.