Dive in the stream of creation 2
Last week I talked about the artist’s block and some of the reasons that may block a creative process (click here if you haven’t read it yet). Hopefully it gave you some interesting ideas on how to unblock and overcome some of these obstacles. This week I wanted to explore other types of blockages to creativity with some other solutions for them. And then I would like to explore a bit more about this stream of creation, and why it’s a magic river in which we should all jump. But that last part will be for next week beacause other way this article is going to be just way too long !
So, another very stupid reason for feeling block is having too many ideas or projects. This create a very overwhelming state in which you are unable to choose what to actually do or start with, and you are just standing still. This is extremely frustrating and makes you enter a neverending loop of “do this, no, that, no, this. OK, this, oh no wait, that, …”. And each of those things have very good reasons to be done first, so you can’t choose. Yes this is also a form of blockage. So how to turn that thoughts storm, and go back to the quiet place where everything flows smoothly ? It’s simple,
just stop thinking of the “reasonnable reasons” why you should do this or that, refocus, and choose what you really WANT to do ! This is not necessarily easy the first times you face that, but it gets easier. You have to clear your mind of every “should” and find your real desire. Take a step back from your easel, and do a little introspection until you are in tune with your real emotions.
Another annoying block is the one when you’ve never tried to make art at all. It may even be the biggest one. We all know that the first step is the most important one. It’s the hardest and seem to set everything up for the rest of the journey. Which is false because your first steps will most likely be bad ones. Which doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it ! You have to know beforehand that you have to enjoy using your art material more than having the result that you have in mind. Because the start will be weird and scary, but also fun, mind openning and very rewarding. I don’t have to lecture you on why you should do things that scare you (or should I ?), you already know the gist. So DO IT ! Dive in the stream, you owe yourself so.
To finish with the different types of blockages, I would like to talk about a very big one : the fear of judgement. This one is so tough to overcome that it makes everything look extremely daunting. Fear of judgement make you doubt yourself for no reason. It makes you see huge dark giant monsters where there’s nothing. It can make you feel small and unworthy. That fear is so irrealistic that it paints each of your thought with pessimism and shadows.
In reality when I started sharing my drawings publicly I was amazed by how people are encouraging and kind. Of course we all have the visions of the great youtubers, actors, artists that can be very roughly criticized for no reasons, and we kind of all fear haters. But really, when you’re a starting artist, that almost never happens. I assure you, that you will be amazed by how people can be encouraging with new artists. And by the time you’re not new anymore, you will have gain faithful fans of your art and other artists friends. Fear will only be there occasionnaly and won’t stop you anymore.
So, that fear of judgment, what do we do with it ? Because for now it exists and it’s keeping you from sharing your talents to the world ! It kind of depends on your temper. For some , it can be like closing your eyes and shutting your ears while running directly into the danger. Once you’re there, you’ll see that danger was an illusion, and you just reach the other artists (who are all on some levels as uncertain as you) on the other side. But some people don’t like to face danger. So maybe it’s your case, you’ll have to proceed more lightly, like dipping your toes in the ocean. Do things by steps. For exemple, you could just open an instagram account that is private and share with only a few people. Then you can expend your account gradually.
You have to listen to yourself while kicking you a little to do things. However small the steps you manage to take are, you took the steps ! And that’s what count. The goal is to
undemonize that faceless fear. Remember, it’s not real, the judgment you’re scared of is made of your own thoughts only. People will mostly be proud of you, amazed by your bravery, wonder how you got such skills even when you’re just starting … And for the few poeple who would be rude to you, remember : the problem is them feeling the need to criticize a new artist, not you being brave enough to create art and share it.
I would like to make a little side note here. Because haters are one thing, but there is a judgment that can be really more devastating that the one of a random person : your family and friends judgment ! So let me just answer very simplyy to that, they are NOT a good first audience. They are very probably not your audience, period. They are certainly just not really interested in what you do. Plus they are the ones to feel the more entitled to give you “constructive” criticism.
The truth is if that if they’re not artist, they don’t know. Only you can know, and learn from the inside what you should or shouldn’t do artwise, or business wise. If I told you how many times I heard “you know what you should do ?” Lol !! Yes people who don’t especially like your art, don’t do or buy art, don’t especially go to museums or art galleries, think they are suddenly expert at what we do. And what’s even
more self convincing in their head is precisely because we areoften lacking self confidence. But please, no matter how low your confidence is, if they say things that don’t resonate with you, trust yourself first !
To finish, let me say this : all of this journey is hard. It’s full of highs and lows, people who think they know better than you, people who take advantage of your doubts to reassure themselves. Your head is going to very often stand in your way. Things are rarely going to happen as you imagined them. This journey is scary and looks like walking in the dark. But it’s also one that is so fulfilling, one that can make you smile everyday, meet new people, expand your horizons, push your limits and make you more skilles, strong, … That’s why now that I’ve talked a lot bout all the unpleasantness of the work, I would like to explore all that is good in being an artist, and how creation is something that can fill up your whole life.