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How I Got Creating Again

by 'Toto' (Aleksina Teto) 2 years ago in goals

7 Challenges Creating Art Block

Photo by Verne Ho from Burst 

There have been moments I've questioned if I'll ever want to create again. At times it gets bad enough I question my own ability at creativity. Months on end of not wanting to draw, write, record... do anything that requires developing an idea. When I do begin to try, I question every stroke and every sentence. Nothing quite hits the mark.

And, other times, I'll have such rushes of energy for creating while I sit at work, itching for work to end so I can begin on my endeavor; but then the day ends and I can't even get myself to start.

In the end, though, I can't really stop creating. Sure, I'll have a few months where it feels like a huge existential crisis of my art self and who I will become without it, but eventually I start making again. There are a few patterns I've started to notice when that happens. I thought, why not bring them up here, just in case it helps someone else?

1. Lack of Resources

To create content, you need to absorb content. Sure there is a lot of social media we tend to constantly consume, but I find it is almost too much stimulation to really absorb for inspiration. Every once in awhile I need to just watch full episodes of a new show without any distraction, go try a new dish, walk in a different park... Sometimes you just need to leave the house (and not just for groceries, or something you promised you'd do).

2. Not Enough Time

We do need time for ourselves. There need to be moments of self-care. That could be a walk, a cup of tea, a run, chatting with a friend... When we take no time for ourselves, it starts to be so draining that in all honesty, you couldn't expect yourself to be able to create.

3. Checking In

Could it be you are avoiding a task, an emotion, or a person? As much as I never truly want to admit it to myself, it always ends up affecting my ability to focus on creating, or even have the energy for it.

4. Is it winter?

Every year. I laugh at myself each spring when I feel a great weight lifting from my shoulders and realize I just had seasonal depression. And, if I had more sources of stress that winter, it makes it harder yet.

This winter specifically has forced me to face so many of my demons, leaving me doubly exhausted from the season. I hit multiple points of complete hopelessness and failure.

5. The People Around You

There really is value in surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Sure, it can be stale to be constantly around people with 100 percent the same interests... but you get my drift.

A few weekends now, I went for coffee with a newer friend, and it's crazy how much deeper the connection felt from just one hour versus years of knowing others. Instead of feeling tired from the visit, I had a rush. That is important. Sure, it isn't always possible, but it could be a source of creative block.

6. Step away.

Not only from your art, but step away from people, too. I'm not saying you should become anti-social, or avoid people for a chunk of time. For me, if people are in my space, I am a different person. For some they might need the opposite, but for me, I create a character for people. It's not on purpose, by any means. But, spending time with yourself, sometimes your real tastes and opinions come out. It is easy to be swept away from either someone else's enthusiastic opinion, or trying to defend one.

7. Make.

This one sometimes makes me just frustrated, when people tell me to just draw more. It almost feels demeaning? But, some points, getting started really is the hardest part. So, it's worth a shot, just begrudgingly force out some lines for a few minutes.

Conclusion

This winter definitely left me creating less than I wanted. Honestly, it got bad enough I felt more hopeless than I ever have. My mind went to dark places. But, luckily, I can say as spring comes, and I remember to take time to access what is really stopping me from creating, there's a little light.

I hope you can find the source of your creative block and keep creating. Personally, I wouldn't feel whole if I never created again.

Thanks for reading,

Toto

goals
'Toto' (Aleksina Teto)
'Toto' (Aleksina Teto)
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'Toto' (Aleksina Teto)

A Canadian designer, writer, typographer, and artist.

See all posts by 'Toto' (Aleksina Teto)

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