Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blocking the Block

Posted by Lora Hart
Artistic Advisor

A FaceBook friend messaged me the other day. She was having a problem that plagues every artist I've ever heard of. She said her creative motivation was on an extended sabbatical and wanted to know if I had any suggestions. I did, and thought I'd share them with you to file away for future artistic ennui.

Sir Isaac Newton of apple bopping head fame discovered the physical law (which I am reminded of almost daily, thanks to a current television commercial) that states 'an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest maintains it's slothful position unless impacted by an outside source'. Or something like that.

\sum \mathbf{F} = 0 \Rightarrow \frac{d \mathbf{v} }{dt} = 0.

What this means to artists is that the longer you allow 'writer's block' to have it's way, the more your creativity will hide in the dark corners of your brain and refuse to come out and play when you ask it to. You have to take an active role in convincing your imagination to return to the studio. Another advertiser shares the secret to success.
Okay. Sometimes it's not as easy as that. But to shift the status quo, you have to shake things up. Some other smart person said that the definition of insanity is "doing the same things over and over, and expecting a different result".

• Rearrange your studio or change the location of your work space.
• Take it outside. A computer or sketchbook works just as well at a cyber cafe or a bench at the park as it does in your house.
• Have a play date with some friends. Crafting with others is sure to get those creative juices flowing. 
• Take a class in another medium. The more techniques you have to draw on, the richer your work will be.
• Use low cost materials. Sometimes the expense of materials is enough to scare away our willingness to experiment. Go to the craft store and look for supplies that mimic your chosen art.
• Sit in your studio and make components. In the case of jewelry, create a supply of bails, granulation balls, molded elements, or new textures. Making anything will invite the muses to return.
• Take part in a challenge. Let another source give you some ground rules to follow and then use your own voice to create something that you might not have thought of otherwise.

The important thing is not to let it go too long. Get back on the horse, don't let the b*&stards get you down, show ennui who's boss! If you just can't shake it, get your potassium levels checked. There may be a physical reason for your malaise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always find if I have a mental block day, I get out all my
art, jewellery, sculpture etc magazines or journals and have a good read. I always find new inspiration and the will to try new things. It is amazing how googling (or same) of other countries also brings fresh inspiration.
Marie-Ann from Down Under(Australia)