Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Creative Block

One of the hardest obstacles to deal with when you work in a creative field is block. We're all familiar with writers block, but there's also artist block and I'm pretty sure there is such a thing as musician block. Although, I'm not a musician, so don't quote me on that. Maybe they never get stuck. But something tells me that they are not the exception.

So, what do you do when you get to this dreaded block? Take a walk? Go for a hike? What if these things don't work? What if you have this frustrating thing for days, weeks or months? Then what do you do?

I don't have the answer.


These things happen and sometimes they go away quickly and sometimes they last a very long time. the most frustrating thing about it, for me, is when I genuinely WANT to work. When I want to sit down and draw, or paint, or just make shit, but nothing happens. Or, even worse than that, you make something and you have these tiny little voices telling you its not good enough. Or you sit down to draw something and it looks like you've been drawing with your eyes closed, and really, you're just not into it.

I know it never lasts too long. Two weeks is long for me. Two long, frustrating weeks. But I just try to tell myself that it will come back and in the meantime I try working on things like organizing my work space, working on tax things and sometimes going for a hike...

I also try making things I haven't for awhile. I made a book last week, and today I started doing little drawings and writing in it. I love these little books. They're like portable pieces art. They're also like these little worlds you can experience all on your own. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them. I was thinking of opening up a separate Etsy shop and maybe selling them. Or maybe I'll just keep them for myself...

This week has been a bit of a struggle for me. I've been trying to come up with a new Christmas card design. It hasn't been easy. The number one reason for this is because it's summer. Summer! It's beautiful outside and the furthest thing from my mind is the holidays. Also, it's the holidays. When you work retail, this is can be the most stressful/tiring/no fun part of the year. Which, for me, is really sad. I love the holidays. I really do, but the site of that first Christmas tree brings some panic and dread to my heart.

So, today, when I finally sat down and got this out onto paper, I was both happy and a bit sad... Sad knowing that I won't see family, friends or really get to spend much time enjoying a happy time of year as much as I could be. I was hoping last year would be my last holiday season, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. I'm okay with it. There are positive and negative things about it, and right now the positives outweigh the negatives, so I'm sticking to it. For now.


tangled sky studio said...

i do what you do and organize, prep boards, listen to music and dabble here and there and then wham...it comes back. sometimes it days, sometimes it's months but there is so much creating to be done in a home, in food, inside ourselves that maybe you don't realize it but you are probably always creating. sometimes, it's just not on paper. i also find that a set goal (like a christmas card design) really squelches my ability to create. best of luck and happy end of summer to you-

Michele Maule said...

You're right, Beth! We are always creating something whether in our personal lives or on paper. I forget that.

And I think creating a goal stifles my creativity too. Hope you have a lovely end of summer too!