Friday, May 22, 2009

Artist Block/ Writer Block

I wrote a small article in one of the forums regarding Artist Block. It is quite useful if you are a beginner or even an expert in Art/ Design/ Writing.

To summarize:
Please Know that it is a temporary slump, you are not at the end of your creative abilities and eventually you will be able to come out of it.
a) Nurture Self (indulge in something you like). Spend you creativity in another direction entirely, a gentle way of doing this, is to take up cooking something new and exciting… write, use a diary…
b) Self examination (what’s bothering you in personal life?). Attend to personal problems first, let the art come second for a while.
c) Be open and reach out to friend (go for coffee n chat)
d) Try and look out for inspiration around you. Take time to dwell in creative spaces, such as library … books, magazines, creative material, attend art museums, cultural places, listen to music…. don’t pick up your brush or pencil….not until….
e) Pick up your brush again, only when you feel an inkling of inspiration and an excitement inside about creating
f) also, be careful where you spend your energies at this time, because you are fragile. Only give where you receive, stay away from negative persons who drain you at this time, just so you can recharge, refill and replenish… think of nourishing people at this time, people you respect, people who encourage you.
g) exercise, get out into the sunlight for some sunshine on your shoulders and face…lift your face to the sun…to the sky and meditate on loftier things for a while, spend time in nature and think upon where you fit into that… you will realise you are but a small part of everything, albeit an important part and although your troubles seem enormous, this will help put them into perspective for you

Some resources on the net
How To Fight Artist’s Block: 7 Methods by Nubby
Artists Block
Overcoming Artist’s, Writing, and Creativity Blocks

One of my friends Anang contributed to the discussion and what he has to say is something of great value.
"Some believe that artist's/writers' block is actually the gestation period for new ideas. It is your system taking a break while it processes new things. The anxiety attached to this seems to be due to a 'result-oriented' and a 'deadlines' based set-up, which may not always be the best way for creative activity. The ideal solution, acc to me, is to relax and realize that this period is actually working in your favour and that there is no need to feel that this is wasted time.
So should one just spend the whole day in coffee shops or in front of the telly? No, what this block requires is that you continue to go to your studio/den/workplace and pour out all the rubbish and gibberish that comes to your mind, for this will be like laying the saplings in your creative nursery. Document all the random thoughts in small notations/shorthand and, when things begin to take shape, just go over this sheaf of papers to cull out the best ideas. This is your resource centre and you will be amazed at how much worth is contained in all the ideas you might have otherwise rejected as baseless and foolish. Let writer's block be no excuse for either despair or inactivity. It just means a lull in full-on mainstream productivity because your mind is taking a stroll in the countryside to search for new seeds.
So relax, enjoy this break from the usual hectic schedule, make use of this time to clean out your studio and rearrange the furniture, catch-up with friends, go to exhibitions/cinema/theatre/libraries, but be sure to spend time tracking all your ideas faithfully. Do not make this an excuse for goofing off, but continue spending time in your work space, albeit in a different way. Above all, do not panic but learn to take pleasure in this phase. It is a necessary part of creative growth and should not be a source of frustration.


Sanket said...

Good one. Researchers too have mental blocks routinely where nothing seems to be brewing; no ideas, no insights, lack of clarity. This might be out of laziness at times ;) But it is quite common and natural to feel a block while doing anything creative.

Surabhi said...

Well laziness is something that is no excuse. The ass always wants to find a couch. As far as the period is concerned I suggest you follow what you always do, read books. It s a great way to retreat, clear up the stuff that is going on in your mind. Helps you always. Btw you can always assist me with the household chores if you want.