Hello to all my fellow artists and designers out there who seem to be struggling right now. I feel you, and I know your frustration. Even though I’m still in school, I worked in the industry for 6 months last year, and day in, day out, I could feel the artistic part of me shrinking. It’s the strangest feeling – being required to make things, when all the creative juice has been sucked out of you.
Creative block seems to come at the most inopportune times. It’s funny how that always works, right? I have a few fantastic projects to work on for a few classes, and yet, I’ve been struggling to even blog a few hundred words each day. For someone who isn’t in the art world, it might sound like a total cop-out. Believe me, I’ve heard people use the “I’m just not feeling it today” excuse a few too many times to sympathize anymore.
But, quite honestly, I can’t think of many other industries that struggle with this. Sure, science has its research and big ideas; like math though, there is usually an answer that works, and an answer that doesn’t.
Art is different. There is a famous quote from Chuck Close that states:
Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you.
Now, artists can agree with this to some extent. And other times, it seems like our brain wiring lost a connection and nothing works up there. I am not even trying to be dramatic for effect here.
So, where do we go from here? I have no idea, hence my current liminal mental state. I started doing research earlier today, seeing if I could seek out some tools; seeing if there was a hypothetic/figurative chisel I could buy, that would chip away at this impermeable crust that is currently holding my brain captive.
Well, I came across a few pieces of advice (and the book shown above that I definitely need to purchase in the future) that stuck with me. Now, who knows if these will unlock anything, but if you see me posting consistently again, you’ll know something go knocked loose. Here’s what I found:
1. Make for the sake of making, without regard to a finish or outcome.
2. Go outside and take a walk; purposefully look for new things you haven’t noticed in your environment before.
3. Work on something besides art. Put it out of your mind for a bit, and be productive with errands, laundry, or cooking.
4. Read or watch something new. Sounds simple, but you never know what idea will spark you in a creative way.
5. Listen to music with headphones on. Block out the world, and your thoughts too.
6. Make something crappy. Throw it out. Repeat.
Most of the above ideas were taken from this article. I hope this helps even one person besides myself. Tomorrow is a new day, with a fresh start, and an open mind. Let’s get creating.