by Shannon Orr
Creative Block; it’s something every person who depends on their creativity loathes. You will be going along, making things to your hearts content, having fun and BOOM. It hits you. Your flow is wiped out, you start fearing that you’ve lost it, you’ve peaked, or even worse, maybe you never had it.
Creative Block is some sort of siphoning mind demon. The more you acknowledge it, the more it grows, and the more it grows the longer it stays. The longer it stays the more apt it is to make itself at home and invite it’s friend’s depression and anxiety over.
Let me tell you, do not let it smell your fear; you must carry on as if you are taking a break. All of this was intentional, totally in control. You didn’t even notice it had stopped by.
While you are taking a “break” you may consider doing the one (or all) of the following:
Sometimes you actually just need a break so your brain can refill on those juices you so desperately crave. Creativity is endless in the world but energy is not. Read a book, or several. Go to a museum, the movies, or just binge a bit on Netflix. Rest is underappreciated in our culture but it is fundamental to our physical and mental health.
Wait hear me out! Seriously exercise will help. I’m not saying you have to do cross fit or hardcore jazzercise (Does jazzercise go hardcore? Yes, yes it does.) Go for a walk, a simple walk. It can be outside at a park, in a store, wherever you want to go and just watch the world around you. Not only is there a high chance you will be inspired by your surroundings but you will also naturally increase your serotonin and dopamine levels. So at the worst you may leave your first walk with not much more than an image of a scary tree but you will at least feel better about it.
Take a Class
If you’re not a master of your craft (and really none of us are, nope not even him.) then you should take a class. Not only will you get the benefit of structure for your brain (something it really likes despite the chaos you keep finding yourself in), a class will generally give you assignments which if you are nerd like me you can reword them to “challenges”. Each of these challenges will teach you a rule to your craft. I know, I know, rules! How are lame rules going to help you end the creative block! Because once you learn them you’re going to be inspired to break every single one.
Learn Something New
It’s no surprise to learn that most artists have more than one outlet. It’s because they can easily become depleted in one avenue and the only way to keep the balance is to switch gears. Maybe you didn’t know your favorite painter also was a prolific knitter? In the end you will need something that keeps your brain charged. Switch it up and you will find yourself doing this proactively to help avoid creative block all together.
It is so easy to fall in the trap of comparison but if you are smart you will realize that’s not what art is about. It is about self-expression and each person has something unique to offer the world. Sometimes just surrounding yourself with other artists and creative individuals will help open new perspectives for your brain. Allow yourself to be influenced by new mediums, offer your help to friends who may need an extra hand in scavenging found objects, props or just being part of a great brain storm. Never compare, just be inspired.
Whenever creative block hits me, I’m reminded of compression yoga poses. These types of yoga poses are used to squeeze your internal organs and muscles pushing out toxins. When the pose is released new blood rushes in bringing oxygen and all the healthy stuff your body wants. Creative block is just your brain being compressed; you’ve probably been pressing it forever to get those creative juices out. Once you find a proper release, you will be hit by a double whammy of the good stuff and you will find the fire that burns within even brighter than before.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” – Pablo Picasso