I often read posts about creative block, being stuck with no ideas yet with the feeling of wanting to produce. Something. Anything.
The only time I come close to experiencing something similar is when I ruminate about the various concepts that I have.
Ideas for sculptures to make, for photographs to stage and take, for paintings I want to compose and paint, for murals I’d like to share in the public realm, for blog posts and stories I’m yet to write, for guerrilla ephemeral art to instal, for graphic designs awaiting the touch of my tablet, for partially formulated poems awaiting to flourish, for songs whose melodies sing to me in my dreams, for jewellery designs ready to craft, for t-shirt designs nearing the screen print shop… the list is lengthy and unabated. Sticky notes swathe my iMac, scribbles on notepads are strewn across my desk. Sketchbooks are crammed with notes, sketches, prototypes, designs and ideas.
My head incessantly whirls in a pool of creative thoughts. My dreams swirl colourfully, brainwaves alight, reluctant to let sleep take ahold.
I know I’m far from alone with being blessed/cursed with a ceaseless overload of creativity. Yet it is this overload which sometimes fuels the closest to a creative block that I experience. Too many ideas from which to draw upon make selecting a project to develop difficult. Which ideas are worth pursuing? Which ideas will result in failed experiments and die a swift death? My method is to focus on a couple of larger projects throughout the year, with smaller experiments sprinkled amid. For me this strikes a balance which is fulfilling.
I push myself to be disciplined and motivated, but also listen to my body. Sometimes I possess the requisite energy to yield an abstract painting. Other days I take refuge on my iPad, designing concepts which may transform into a mural, or a piece of music which makes my heart sing and my body move. Then there are the days when I take myself out for a date with an art gallery and marvel at the creative genius of other artists. Or occasionally escape to the regions, breathe in country air, listen to the trees talk and enjoy the tranquility.
Knowing my limits and working within them helps to maintain a sense of achievement and creative fulfilment.
For those who do suffer from creative block, give yourself a break, switch off, go outside, relax and experience a different environment. Or try something completely different to what you are currently working on or what you usually create. Change up your studio/creative space (and if your space is anything like mine, you’ll likely dig up some hidden gems you can use as inspiration for a new artwork). Catch up with a fellow creative and sap their creative qi! 😆
Breathe, and try not to panic as your creativity will return when it’s ready.