Monday, March 15, 2010

Creative Block vs. Creative Avoidance

It might be spring fever but I'm having the hardest time concentrating and motivating myself lately. I feel a real resistance to creating anything. It's not creative block per se, but creative avoidance.

Creative Block is where I can't come up with an idea to save my soul, and I feel tapped. I don't want to work, I don't want to make stuff, and I do not want to think about creating at all. But I yearn for it. At some level I need it and I feel badly about it. As if it's something lost and I can't find it.

Creative Avoidance is something else. I usually feel this at some point in a big project. I'll fly through the envisioning phase and then hit the execution and WHAM! I hit a snag and the creative avoidance steps right in. Then I don't want to think, see, feel, or be around art of any kind. I don't want to see my supplies, I don't want to be reminded of my art and I certainly don't want to expend any of my energy in it's pursuit. Creative Avoidance makes me feel guilty. I know that if I sat down and tried even a little I could come up with some ideas but I DON'T WANT TO!! Thinking and being a creative person taps us sometimes and I know there are times where I just don't feel like I have anything left to expend.

One of my solutions for creative block is to get around my materials, and do something mundane. Like spray paint washers and make my little cork bases. Or clean out and organize my art room. Committing to spending some time in my sketchbook is good too. Getting out and looking or talking about art with some friends who understand is a fabulous tonic.

For Creative Avoidance I like to sit down with my journal and remind myself of my goals. I have short, mid, and long term goals for my art. I choose one and write about it. Then I make a list of things I can do now, things that won't sap my energy. Like doing some research on the web for ways to seal your pastel paintings on canvas. Degas did it and I tried steam from my teakettle and it worked kind of... I'll think of a list of things I've wanted to try, and pick one. Or I'll play like I did a few posts ago. It makes me feel good to accomplish something and sometimes that's all it takes for me to move out of this stage.

Just curious, but what do you do? Do you experience Creative Block or Creative Avoidance? How do you move out of it? I'd love to know!!!

3 comments:

Zinnia said...

Wow! Great post! I love this topic and I love even more how you explained it. It isn't an easy thing to put into words sometimes and you nailed it!
I didn't realize that it is avoidance and not a block. Though I suspected that I was not having blocks, but thought it was the blahs. Now I will have a new attitude about it thanks to you!
When I hit a wall, I go back to my sketch book. Not for inspiration, but for reinforcement. Sketching reminds me to be my self, speak my voice and be honest and authentic. It gives me my groove back almost all the time. Then, I will go back to an unfinished project and BAMMM..I'm back. Cleaning my workspace helps too. Thanks for a great post! I love it!!!!

Eileen said...

Funny how I just thought I had spring fever - now I know it was creative avoidance! I keep a notebook of ideas to refer to whan Ihave creative block, but the avoidance is harder to deal with. I've been spending time organizing stuff, sorting buttons, reading through older etsy chats and blog notes.... need to move out of that avoidance mode and back into sewing mode!

Jen said...

Thanks Eileen for your comment! I appreciate that you took the time, and I LOVE your ideas for moving out of the avoidance. Thanks for sharing!!!