Today's Lesson

By | Saturday, November 17, 2012 Leave a Comment
In the space of 10-15 minutes this afternoon, I saw the following three things.

1) This webcomic by Christian Beranek, Tony DiGerolamo and Greg Eales.
2) This tweet from Jason Thibault.
3) This blog post from Scott Hamilton.

Artist’s block.

“Blank brain”.

Creative winter…

Whatever you call it, I’m in it.

It started as a brief ‘pause’ after my 100 Portraits project in order to re-assess the direction I’m headed as an artist, because I was feeling a bit aimless and unsatisfied, moving around in tiny circles. I think it’s ok to take a break if you’re experiencing frustration with your work; wipe the slate clean and take a good objective view at what you’ve done and what you want to accomplish. Am I headed toward that goal? Am I satisfied with the direction that I’m going? Be careful, however, that the intended short self-examination doesn’t stretch into a long-term hiatus.

It’s not that I haven’t done anything at all- in fact I have four unfinished works sitting in my studio at the moment, none of which I will probably ever bring to completion, because in the midst of the process I’ve turned a corner and said, “oh,”. So I ask myself, am I just making excuses? Am I creating roadblocks for myself subconsciously? Time has dragged on, and it has now been five months since I have actually completed a piece of art, save for one morning sketch I did about 2 weeks ago. That was refreshing. However, in my own defence, during this period I have closed my business and gone back to work full time, I have taken on the position of assistant coach for my daughter’s soccer team, and begun the process of rebuilding a motorcycle… And hey, I have four kids. That’s the number one excuse that others give to me freely.

So here is an examination of the ten worst habits that I have developed which keep me safe from being productive. Feel free to add to my list if I’ve missed anything.

Number one: Television. Best creativity killer on the planet.

Number two: Go to bed late and get up early. Being tired all the time is really helpful.

Number three: Put all kinds of non art-related junk in your studio space so that you don’t even want to look at it.

Number four: Become obsessed with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, and check your iphone every five minutes to see if anybody loves you.

Number five: Don’t bother doing anything small- make sure that all art projects you want to do will take at least 50 to 100 hours.

Number six: If you do feel the urge to make some art, make sure there are tons of distractions around; if there are none, see number four.

Number seven: Decide to completely re-invent yourself as an artist. (Never take small steps in this regard- always good for a personal crisis.)

Number eight: Listen carefully to all the voices in your head telling you to give it up, you’re not a real artist anyways.

Number nine: Completely alienate yourself from all of your artist friends, and secretly creep them on Facebook so nobody asks what you’ve been up to…

Number ten: Busy yourself as much as possible with other things- home renos, rebuilding motorcycles… and faithfully do these during your studio times.

Did I miss anything?

Yours in procrastination,

Now, with those three items in mind, let me ask you: WHY ARE YOU STILL SITTING THERE READING THIS? GO MAKE SOMETHING!
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