I’m in a Creative Block

Image result for creative block book
@amazon

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.

People want to see You in your Content

@windowsofnewyork

I recently read a post on LinkedIn, of all places, that interested me. I rarely tend to actually read articles, let alone personal posts, on there. I find it all to be very redundant. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the post. And quite frankly, I don’t remember who posted it. It had a couple of likes and comments, but the message was brilliant. I’m going to paraphrase the man’s words below:

More often than not, people do not post content because they are afraid it is not good enough. Content creators should create, especially online, as often as possible, if not every day. The content might not be great every day, or really any good in the beginning. But it is not always the work quality people are looking for. People who post consistently share their creativity despite the quality. They post for the fun of it, the joy it may bring someone. Do not be afraid to post something that is mediocre. Post because you want to post. Share because you want to share. Just start doing it, and eventually something good will come of your persistence.

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Now, I can tell you this hit me very personally. I tend to be a perfectionist. I want everything to be good – as perfect as possible – before I show it to someone. When I draw, I rarely draw around other people because I feel judged. I have a very dirty process, and I don’t want people to see that unless they have to. But I’ve come to find, through a lot of stress, struggle, and internal anxiety, people really do want to see the process. They are intrigued by the shitty, scribbled napkin sketch. It’s humbling for people to see your dirty elbows and sweaty brow. You want them to think you’re effortlessly talented. Like you sipped lemonade, thought up a brilliant new idea, and then just waved it into existence out of thin air.

I am doing a photography project cataloging a bunch of architecture and color studies throughout Detroit. I had looked up collage inspiration, and came across a few images with beautifully saturated windows from around the world. Deja vu hit me like a truck. I remember following this random blog years and years ago, titled Windows of New York. It was a graphic designer who would post a digital illustration of a single window they saw each day. As a follower in the early days of this website, I can tell you, he/she didn’t post every day. And the quality wasn’t always the greatest. But I absolutely adored them. It made me so happy, scrolling through these little scenes I felt transported to.

It took me a few minutes to remember the name of the site, but as soon as I found it a few minutes ago, I spent a while just scrolling. I’ve inserted a few of my favorites throughout here. I’m here to tell you, this site has over 14 million people following on various social media sites. 14 million. How incredible is that??! It goes to show you, that yes, persistence is key. People can feel this creator’s energy. They are connected somehow. It gives me hope for my projects, my posts, my shares, my views, my praises and my critiques too. Show people the process. Everyone starts somewhere.