Well a creative challenge is one phrase for last week, ‘complete road block’, might be another. There comes a time in every artist’s life when you question your everything. Your work; competency, subject matter, style, value, worth in both a monetary and emotional context, even your ‘raison d’être. Well it’s been one of those weeks for me.
Some call it ‘the dark night of the soul’ and keep digging, while others rush off to the doctor and get something to make the mental and emotional pain go away. Others check them selves into a psychiatric facility and still others hit their drug of choice. The Moon – Tarot card is symbolic of this journey.
When you hit this pit or mountain in your road, what will you do? Cry a lot, soul search, write, walk, pace the floor at night – I’ve done all of the above this week. It seems that from time to time, in my experience, this is what the creative journey requires. We have to stop and reassess. sometimes our core foundations have been undermined. My big question word this week was all about Value.
Something I learnt this week is that when you are working through a creative challenge of this magnitude, it is impossible to gain clarity when your life is cluttered with your past perceptions. Yes we are at this point today built on our past, however we can choose something different. What is needed is perspective and distance. It’s not all about putting brush to canvas or pen to paper.
Why am I telling you all this. Because part of my conclusions this week are that I have to make more time somehow for my creative process. Something has to go. Here are the decisions I made. I am sharing with you so that if you find yourself in this place one day, my experience and insights may help you in your journey.
- To cut back my blog posts to 1 day a week again and change the nature of the blog to some extent. I am going to only post on Thursdays from now on and all posts will be about the creative journey of the artist – my self or others as information comes to hand. I may miss some weeks – or not. For 5 years now I have blogged every week and I thank those of you who are regular readers for coming to listen to my words. I trust there have been some insights for you along the way.
- I have totally cleared my studio of all works – wow what a different energy there is in there now – it’s literally a blank canvas, ready for when I am ready to begin again.
- I need to take some time out to really work through on an emotional and mental level, exactly where I’m going. Meditate, breathe, walk, do artist dates and morning pages. To help me with this I’m walking with Julia Cameron using her creative recovery books to help me. She has so much insight – the mentor every artist needs, whether you are in a block or not. I highly recommend her work.
Photo by Joelk75