I've been sitting in front of this computer for almost 2 hours and just now I begin to write these words. I thought of my writer friends and wondered if there was some secret that they knew to get my fingers on the damn keyboard and my brain to start forming words. And then I thought about my artwork.
Holy crap! I'm going to face that. I am going to get artist's block...again. It's inevitable. I've faced it in the past. I would get a burst of inspiration and produce, produce, produce. For a time I became obsessed with making and painting stencils—mostly portraits. There was a phase of crafty-ness from terrariums to friendship bracelets. And my favorite, the series of flaming vagina paintings (few were lucky enough to witness that one). One thing that each of these bursts of inspiration have in common is that the burst of inspiration ended and I walked away. I just stopped creating.
Now I'm kind of freaking out. Before it was totally cool to "take a break" (does years of not creating count as a break??). I had a job to take up my time and to pay the rent. But this time is different. So very, very different. What the hell do I do if I stop having ideas?? What the hell do I do if I become uninspired?? Crap.
Deep breath. It's hard not to freak out over the "what ifs." And it's hard to think that I actually have the ability to change my ways. BUT I keep remembering that life is really fucking short...too short to worry over the "what ifs" and not to even try to change. So for now, I'll put my worries about having a block aside, and instead, remind myself of the wise words of Chuck Close.
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.”
― Chuck Close
Thanks Chuck. I needed that. Now, time to get back to work.
When you have a creative block, do you have tricks to push yourself out of it? Please share if you do! I can't be the only one that would greatly appreciate the advice.