Powering through fear
Hello art lovers!
Sometimes I look at a blank canvas and then decide to go mow the lawn.
That is fear for you. Or is it?
Dealing with the feeling of being frozen in front of a blank canvas, or the artistic medium of your heart, is an experience every artist deals with during the creative process. Known as the "creative block," it is quite daunting when it happens. And it will happen, probably a lot. The feeling of a block can render an artist into a creative funk with great resistance as a result.
It doesn't have to be this way. The primary solution: Face the fear head on and just get moving on your creation, even if it is just a line on the canvas or a dot on the page.
Move through fear
Fear is crippling and stops the flow of creative energy, which is always there even if you lose temporary access. So embrace the block, really lean into it, and don't judge it. In fact, stop judging yourself. Just take a deep breath and remember why you are a creator. Now it can be effective to step outside or take a day away from your work all together to reignite creative inspiration. And sometimes it is just a matter of taking the pressure off. But in the end, it is about allowing the gift of 100% self-acceptance, self-compassion, and self-love that will assist in moving through the stifling suffocation of a creative block.
Return to the creative flow
Forgive the block, own the block, and watch it dissolve. Your inner critic will give you all kinds of negative feedback when you are in the middle of a creative block but just laugh at that critic. Transcend it. You can do it. Just don't follow the negative thoughts. You can see them there – be aware – but then choose to not engage with the ego and the psyche. Instead, go into your heart space. This is where inspiration lives.
Keep it simple
Allow the energy you feel during the creative block to be present without judgement. This is important because it creates a space for a sense of peace to return. Remember, this happens to every artist, and it is normal and expected.
What are the three to five most important things that have to happen in your day? Create a list with these items. Make sure you pen only three to five items. The idea here is to re-establish a sense of control over your day – while also maintaining a sense of balance -- without sparking more stress and creating stronger blocks. These priorities could be as relaxing as stretching a bunch of canvases for a sense of productivity. Reward yourself for any accomplishment.
Meditate or reflect
After I create a daily priority list to wipe out a block, I will meditate on it to see if it is resonating with my intuition and aligned with my life purpose and mission. Meditating alone can release a creative block simply because the inner work sparks a renewal, which usually leads to inspiration. Remember to remain flexible with your lists.
Trim it down
Try trimming the fat off your day or removing nonessential things to do that don't actually serve your mission or keep you on track with your specific artistic goals. I mean, do you really need to check your e-mail every 15 minutes? Or would twice a day work better? There are many ways to eliminate stress and wasting time, which can vampire creative energy and result in those dreaded creative blocks.
Just take one small step
Take any immediate step when you feel inspired action, however small, as it is through this action that your momentum begins to build and your intentions become more clearly defined. This is where you feel freedom in your heart. And this further fuels creative flow. It's like magic when this happens, so just enjoy it! Don't question your movements when they come from this kind of heart space. Don't get in your own way. Instead allow the energy to move you forward. You just have to let go and trust yourself.
Take a moment each day to reflect on your artistic mission and your purpose. Remember to cherish the reasons why you want to create art. These reflections alone will spark a sense of vigor and energy. Connect with your heart each day and know that your work matters because you matter. Create with joy first, and the rest will follow.
Christopher B Mooney
REALLY I want to inspire you about the intricacies of the art world, its forms, and people. And I want to share the fascinating -- and somewhat mysterious -- aspects of my journey as an artist.