Monday, January 27, 2014

Artist Block: A Form of Self-Destruction?

   There are times I am at a loss of ideas on how to create a photographic portrait or an oil painting. The very moment I realize this loss, my mind careens into a state of panic. "This is it. I am all washed up. I will never be able to create anything good ever again!" If I allow my mind to continue in this self-defeating panic, I will remain blocked and unable to create.

 Anyone who creates anything has more than likely gone through this debilitating disorder. Accepting the fact that you are not alone in this feeling is the first step in recovering.

The second step requires inspiration. Go for a walk or see a movie. Pull out your favorite picture book of famous art. Read poetry or listen to music. It doesn't matter what art form it is, immerse yourself in colors, shapes, sounds, and patterns. Your inspiration will come if you take your mind off your problem and open yourself up to the flow of art around you.

 Next, begin to create just for fun. If you write, write a nonsensical story. If you draw, scribble a silly sketch just for yourself.  Use your camera to photograph random colors or lines without putting much thought into the shot. The idea is to just get yourself back in the saddle again.

Lastly, be social. Find other people who inspire you or build you up. Make plans to paint or write with a friend. You will soon be comparing notes on all the same fearful thoughts that block each of us. Once you see that it is just a part of the process, it will be less frightening the next time.  With a network of good friends, you will be able to relax and enjoy the process much more.

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