When I hit the brick wall that is the second sort, I've learned to have patience - because ultimately
|'Laird of Lochaber" Red stag in Glencoe, on|
three turkey feathers. Lochaber District tartan
painted on the quills.
While creative growth is great and we look forward to improving, what typically brings about a creative block?
Stagnation. When we produce, we often get into a routine. What we produce becomes routine. Maybe a particular style has become what is expected of us, and we eventually find ourselves bored. We might not recognize that at first, only that we are not as fired up to create as we once were.
Busyness. Raising my hand here - guilty! We pile so much on to our schedule, we feel pressed to keep moving or else we'll fall behind. Too much of this will promptly lead to burnout. You will run out of steam, as well as inspiration! Make time for personal time.
Health. No one can perform well after a period of poor diet or insufficient rest. Likewise with lack of exercise. Illness, stress, and bad things happening in your personal life also contribute as causes for a creative block.
So how on earth do you work through a block? Once you've recognized and addressed the cause that put you there, break away from the work. Shake it up a bit, go do something different. Visit places that inspire you, go see the works of someone who inspires you and whom you admire. Galleries, museums, and exhibitions are great for this. Get out into nature and simply experience all that is around you, and let your senses take over. Does music inspire you? Seek that. Try a new style, a new medium, a new art form.
This Spring I had the mother of all creative blocks. It set in like a ton on my shoulders and no matter what I did I could not get past it. There was no guessing at the cause, the cause was grief. I had lost my brother very suddenly, very unexpectedly. There was no getting past this very extreme matter until I addressed the grief I was suffering and said what I felt was a proper good bye to my brother. I will not go into detail in this post, but will probably make that its own blog article in the future on grief and healing and how I went about it. I will say that my approach was huge, but so was the relief and the healing that occurred. When I did what I needed to do and recovered from the pain of loss, I couldn't wait to get back to my brushes and paints. The inspiration was as great as the block that preceded it. And yes, I do believe the work that came from it saw an increase in quality.
|"Power and Grace" - humpback whales on turkey feather|
Your turn - what are some of the things that have given you a bad case of creative block? What are some of the ways you worked through it?