A message for my creatives. Have you ever been through a creative desert? A place where inspiration and motivation seem to have dried up completely, but you still have the task of creating before you? Although constantly surrounded by art in NY, for some reason I felt more overwhelmed than inspired. Days and weeks roll by without having picked up a pencil or paintbrush, leading me to be hard on myself as an artist. This wall of unproductivity is something that I often encounter and many of you may sympathize with. Throughout this trying time in my studio practice, I have found two points that have helped me get going again in my artwork.
Look inwardly before creating outwardly.
Art is often an expression of our personal experiences and what is inside of us. If we are going through an emotional turmoil or our mind and heart is not in a healthy place, our art will often be a visual reflection of that. Creative work takes energy, emotion, and intentional thought; when I am in an emotionally drained place, I often see that my art quality declines. It’s easy to find myself overwhelmed to finish all of these projects so I end up not doing anything. During those times, taking a moment to clear my head and breathe has been an agent to break through unproductivity. Practical things that I do to assist are going outside for a walk, talking to family or friends, and meditating/praying.
Spiritual Breakthrough is Creative Breakthrough
My relationship with God has always been the foundation of my creative practice.
Spending time with God before creating reminds me that he is the ultimate creator, therefore he is the expert for my creative process (Gen 1:1). This time also gives me a space to address the noise in my head, and find peace in the often overwhelming search for breakthrough. Giving it all to God and letting him guide me in my practice, instead of my various thoughts and emotions, brings more clarity in my thought process and state of frustration (1 Peter 5:7).
These moments give me a space to be at peace with the fact that I’m not supposed to have it all together because as humans we were created to be dependent on God. It gives me the freedom to surrender and acknowledge my limits, and from that place of surrender create something beautiful with my creator.