You know, sometimes as an Artist, one comes to a point where after ALL the beautiful, wonderful ideas and concepts that come into fruition in the form of a new painting on a canvas, a new screenplay, a new song, or even that perfectly-angled shot of a camera…one runs into the dreaded (and sometimes inevitable) ARTIST’S BLOCK (or WRITER’S BLOCK, for all the Artists of the WORD).
All of a sudden, it seems like your Creative Well has run dry (and your life is undoubtedly OVER so you cry out in your Mind, “Somebody just SHOOT ME!”). NOTHING comes out right, EVERYTHING is a spectacular failure, you KNOW that you can do better than this atrocity that you’ve produced but it really doesn’t seem to be happening–
YES. I KNOW. It’s “The Dilemma of a LIFETIME!”
I’ve had my fair share of Artist Blocks, and with each one, I made every single claim that’s mentioned above and then some! But I can honestly say that more recently, I’ve been breaking through ALL of my Artist Blocks, and now it’s not so much of an Artist Block as much as it is excitement and itching to try something new! I have perfectionist tendencies that I’m also breaking out of and looking for new sources of inspiration without draining myself or trying too hard.
Well, one day, back in May actually, after a generally good day of being out and about, I was on the bus on my way home. I was tired but felt good. Little did I know, a source of inspiration would present itself to me.
I was sitting near the front of the bus riding along when an elderly man got on the bus. I INSTANTLY recognized him–he was an ARTIST.
No, he wasn’t a famous artist in any sense of the term, but I’ve been seeing him every now and then on the bus for YEARS.
As an Artist, I already know to NEVER disturb another Artist when he or she is creating (at least, that’s true for ME. You REALLY don’t want to mess up my groove when I’m in my zone! Ha, ha!). Because of this, I’ve always quietly admired him from afar, wanting to say something to him, but always ending up holding my tongue. He is a source of inspiration to me because EVERY SINGLE TIME I’d see him almost always sitting in the same spot in the front of the bus, he’d always be so IMMERSED in his work, like nothing else around him mattered. Nothing could disturb him or kill his flow…it’s always a wonderful sight to see! Even though I’ve never said anything to him, I would always have a pretty good view of what he would be creating. I’m telling you, it’s AMAZING! I wish I could have been able to take pictures of his art work!
I saw all kinds of colors, designs, PYRAMIDAL STRUCTURES (things that make me, as an African woman now transitioning into my Holistic lifestyle say “Hmmmmm….” to myself), etc. The best way to describe all the precise angles, bands of colors and designs is–KALEIDOSCOPIC. Everything more, nothing less. The best part about all of this is the genuine JOY I could see emanating from his being. On top of ALL THIS, whereas I always tend to stress myself out over virtually NOTHING when it comes to me creating (I worry about what art supplies I have or don’t have, what will work and won’t work ALL WITHOUT actually making anything or any progress, etc.), this elder here kept it SO SIMPLE.
You know what he was using?
Three markers (pink, orange, and green highlighters), two ink pens, and what looked like a credit card of some sort to use for straight lines. That’s IT. And guess what he draws ON? Plain white envelopes, loose scrap papers, all carried around in a clear accordion folder. This is what I would ALWAYS see him with as far as supplies go. With such SIMPLISTIC tools, this man weaves wonders beyond anything the average person could possibly think one could do. I got lost in the sight of him…I zoned out everything around me the same way this man did as he focused so intensely on his precise lines, angles and coloring.
Seeing this man in his genuine, authentic joy of creation, SMASHED RIGHT THROUGH my Great-Wall-of-China-sized Artist’s Block and lifted my spirits up with brand-new inspiration! It was a reminder to never let anything or anybody steal my joy of being a Creatress–not even ME. It was a reminder to keep it simple, genuine, and to never forget the LOVE, PASSION, and FUN that fuels what I do!
And since then, I’ve been creating like there’s MANY tomorrows! Yeah, I still have my off days, but it’s things like this that ensure I won’t be down in any kind of funk or block for long.
So how about you, fellow Creators and Creatresses? Have you ever had any kind of Artist’s Block, like one in particular that you felt like COULD NOT and WOULD NOT be chipped away or broken down? If so, what brought it on and how did you get yourself through it? Who or what are YOU sources of INSPIRATION?
I’d like to read about it!
~SOULar Lioness XOXO