NOTE:
This series has been revised out of a number of journal entries I wrote for my page on deviantart.com. Due to that I must mention that all content is copwrited via publication there but freeuse and special use licenses only require asking me.





Cures For Artistic Blocks
Part 0-Intro/disclaimer of a herefor-yet-unknown-number




   Several people have asked me for ways 
   to unblock creativity, or assist in 
   accelerating their output of finished 
   works as of late, and so I have assembled this. 
   It addresses various reasons for artistic 
   blockage and suggests solutions and offers 
   excersizes for being rid of them and insights 
   into their possible sources. 


If mispellings bother you or lessen the imagined worth of a piece to you feel free to point them out, I appriciate any opportunity to learn. Regarding this unfortunate character trait, however, you have my sympathys and condolences. Letting something as small as a transposed i an e demene or devalue a piece whose content is not an essay on proper spelling will ultimately only allow you to learn, understand, and enjoy less from art and more importantly communication.

In other words:
I make a lot of them.


This portion covers 6 questions 
to hopefully help clarify 
'what the hell your problem is'.


Part 1 of "however many it takes".

What is your damn problem anyway?

The first thing to ask yourself is why you have the block in the first place as the answer may provide an immediate solution. I know I know "I've BEEN asking myself that for days!!" Instead of asking "Whats my problem?! Why cant I create?" ask yourself the following:
  • What is different in my life now that wasnt present when I was able to create?
  • such as a new job that requires a lot of time, a new mate, a move to a new enviornment etc. To cure this simply make the time to create regularly regardless of the toll or ask yourself how important art is to you? More than the mate? the job? Important questions that will answer themselves over time if you do not confront them now.

    Think about how many people who
    "Used to --insert art form-- when I was younger
    but just haven't had the time for it in --decades-- a while, but I keep meaning to"

    What they actually mean is: art is not as important to me as my daily obligations otherwise.

  • Would it be okay to you if you became one of them?

  • Has my own style become boring to me?

    • Here is where art appriciation classes actually have an application Try styles that are vastly different from what you like to do. If you write complex structured poetry try writing haikus and beat style free verse, if you paint demons and faces try painting still lives and landscapes. It will suck, it will be tedious and it will be painful. Dont stop until you have become 'decent' if not 'good' (depending on how harsh you are on yourself) at the form. Not only will you find that your skills have increased in areas unexpected, but your style won't be all that boring any longer.


      Pick up an unrelated art. If you write, play harmonica; if you play piano, learn sculpture. While doing this, try to find the similarities between the arts and apply the skills of one to the other. This may be frustrating, but it is certainly not boring.

    • Have I reprioritized (intentionally or not) the value of making art in my life?
    • For instinctual reasons we tune out MOST EVERYTHING that is constant in order to recognize the unique unfamiliar and potentialy dangerous elements in our sphere of perception- this is good for survival, but unfortunately it is bad for one who lives where 'survival' itself is not in question but rather 'quality of life'. See: quality of life requires refining and honing that which is constant into a better form, where survival requires that it be only aknowledged and dealt with. Psychologically speaking, this sucks but is simply a matter of evolution being slower than societal saturation- nothing you can do but evolve out of it.


    Because of this trait we tend to tune out the good and most appriceated parts of our existance along with the pains, routines and annoyances that are commonplace. Danger here for the artist who relies on focus! The only way around this is to constantly appriciate the place art has in your life AND try to variate its essence as much as you can so as to keep the reptile brain regarding it as exploration rather than relaxation and thus static to disregard.

  • Am I being lazy in my approach to art?
  • "If it aint broke dont fix it" approaches will stunt the growth of a living thing and should never be applied to anything but machines. What I mean is: your art is a life born from you that you teach and raise to higher states of expression as you would a child and so if you find something that 'works'- be it a theme, mode, or style- it is a big temptation to simply use that all the time. THAT WILL DESTROY YOUR ART EVENTUALLY!! Lack of diversity in your artistic gene/meme pool will breed idiots and eventualy repulsive mockeries of life.

    Let me put it this in another way: look at what plopping children down in front of the TV instead of being interactive with them has done to the world. Why the hell would you do that to your artistic self?

    To solve this: stop watching TV; meaning: don't do the familiareasy style at all (try as hard as you can not to at least) You can expect a lot of akward silences- after all, you havent been talking to the kid now for a while so you arent used to it, but have faith you will come back- unless you buckle to the drone of the tv again.

    • Do I expect my art to be too much?
    • Be warned: Too good of a piece at the wrong moment can screw up your psyche as quickly as being ridiculed over a bad one. If you expect to always write progressively better and better pieces you will be dissapointed fairly often because though technique may improve over time, content will fluxuate with enviornment, hormones, and barometric pressure by the way it affects your clarity. I have at times felt intimidated by the poem-about-to-be-written because it proceeds in the notebook one that I am really proud of. This is outright stupid, in an unconscious, self defeating and pathetic way. When you find yourself falling victim to it feel free to be indignant and disgusted.


    Firstly: they wont all be gems, in fact most wont be gems, as by definition gems are prized stones because of their RARITY. Never be ashamed of creating what you think is 'crap'. At the very least you have shown yourself a bit of what you want to avoid more clearly and thus have grown which will then make the rare gem that much better of a cut when you come across it.

    Another side of this question is unreasoning focus on simply elements: writing= needing to spell/phrase everything correctly in the creation phase of a piece, Painting= being afraid to touch the canvas without a presketch series etc. A riddle of warning if this is your mode: by being anal-retentive with artforms will make your art formed of pure _______?

    Loosen up, write in pen and dont carry white out or scratch words out. Art can be freeing if you arent obsessive-compulsive in its minutia.

  • Have I forgotten the reason I started making art in the first place OR has that original reason become invalidated somehow?


  • I certainly am not the child who started drawing plane crashes at 3 years old, nor am I the insecurity choked-mute teen who had too much to say and no mouth to say it, nor am I the 20 year old nihlistic bastard who flooded out into poetry, which is good, but if I forget who they were I stand the chance of forgeting why I do things that they passed on to me out of a tradition that was important to them. That can result in an inexplicable dulling of the entire artistic experiance which will confuse the conscious because actually at the root it is the subconscious pruning the routine tree of potential dead-limbs. DON'T ALLOW YOUR ART TO TURN INTO A DEAD LIMB- as most everyone does (thus why few understand artistic process, and 9 out of 10 people suck)

  • I no longer have {most of} those insecurities so in order to reaffirm that original drive to express them in hopes of getting them out I now tend to express ways I have gottten/ am getting them out, results of not getting them out etc. in order to aid others; because I do this my subconscious cannot lable the endevor as "DONE" nor will it see the branch as dead.

    Advice: try finding the reasons that spurred your original drive to create and reapply them in a way that is satisfying to you and doesnt have a potential end point





    To those of you on this site who showed support, thank you- the very short time I was here was made good by you, take care and move to higher truths, you will be missed by me, but I simply don't have time for the selfimportance and basic persnickity elitism. Perhaps the whole site is not this way but the numbers suggest I look elsewhere for a good community. To the rest you: have good lives, peace.