Creative Block: Overcoming the Wall

"The place we find ourselves - 
Is oftentimes the place we drown ourselves.
This sea is heavy -
I think it tears holes in me.
And the feelings that once ran viscous in my throat,
Now, no longer have a place to hold."                              
                                                 -Shihori Obata

It is self-consuming.

There is a lot to be gained from the creative process - But sometimes it feels as if you're losing a lot of yourself with it as well. That is how I oftentimes imagine creative blocks of coming to be: You build so much inside of yourself, it's eventually going to come down. And it all flat-lines.

Being an artist, I have gone through many periods of creative blocks - As a writer and a painter. Everybody experiences it in different ways; However, I think many of us face the same inherent fear at the forefront of the experience: What if this lasts forever? I have lost my passion for many things throughout my life, but - this - I can't bear to imagine the notion of losing.

And I'm sure I am not alone when it comes to this.

TIP #1: Seek inspiration

  • Rekindle the spirit!
  • Give yourself time to explore and think about the outside world
    • I often find myself trying to understand the world from the direction of inner to outer and I forget to make the conscious effort to switch gears sometimes.
  • What I find to be helpful is seeing the creative process of other artists. 
 

 

Tip #2: Branch Yourself Out

  • Try a different techniques, forms, styles, etc.
  • Do the unconventional!

Tip #3: Rediscover Yourself

  • This is along the lines of an earlier tip that I mentioned but - Look at your creative process from a different angle.
    • For example: When I have a creative block when painting, I sometimes pull out the camera and record myself just scratching, dabbing, and buffing nonsensically at a canvas. Looking at the recording is like seeing the process through a the eyes of an onlooker. And it's weird, but there's something reassuring in it: It's like getting rid of the critic within yourself.
  • Rediscover not just the beauty in your art, but the beauty of you as an artist.

Tip #4: Give It Time

  • Continue with other things like school, other work that's got to be done, family life, etc.
    • Keep Creating Through It All - Even if  you're not liking the things you create, the only way you'll get through it is to keep creating until you finally feel it break. Meet inspiration halfway.
  • Sometimes it takes me days to get over creative blocks. Sometimes it takes months. Hopefully not much more... BUT, before you know it, you'll be looking back and saying "How did I get from there to here?" Sometimes it's the creative blocks that prove to be the most pivotal points in our lives.

Tip #5: Have Fun!

  • This may be harder to some than to others, but don't let it break you.

 

I think it is as much a part of an artist's journey to experience this sort of loneliness that can plague the human spirit - Perhaps arguably more so than any finished piece of work or time of success in one's career.

Because if art is truly the pillar of your existence, there is no need to worry: 

Creative blocks won't last forever.