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erik_satie_rolls
09-08-2003, 04:37 PM
Today I spent the morning drawing. I haven't felt motivated to draw for days now, and just bit the bullet and started. Nothing of substance came of it. In fact, I couldn't even focus. I had a definite sense of disinterest in what I was doing, even though I was convinced of my need to concentrate and tap some creative energy.

I feel that somewhere inside, I've gotten away from the feeling that any of this (the work I create) matters. Nothing external has really changed from a few months ago when I was very into my work. I feel that its an internal thing.

This isn't exactly depression ( I take an antidepressant.) Its more a sense that I don't need to do art right now. I have plenty of free time to do it, and although my life is medium hectic, that hasn't really changed either from a few months ago.

Has anyone else ever had this happen? Any thoughts you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Dan

DanaT
09-08-2003, 05:51 PM
Yes, Erik, it has. Usually with me, its when I have an issue or problem I have to deal with but I don't want to do it. Often this problem would most benefit from the creative flow that emanates from drawing or painting but when I sit down to paint, I have a gnawing sensation that I should be doing something else. If I have a lot of stuff I don't want to deal with, then I may not even be clear on what else I should be doing.

This is a toughie but lately I've revisited why I do my art and why its important to me. Sometimes its necessary to change why I do something to keep it fresh and relevant. Also I pay attention to what happens right before I have any negative thoughts. Usually that helps me find what's bugging me.

After a traumatic experience, a healthcare worker asked me if I was depressed. I said no, I was angry. He said, that depression is anger turned inward. He said, if we don't deal with our anger, it can turn into depression and its much harder to solve what's causing depression than anger.

erik_satie_rolls
09-08-2003, 06:17 PM
Yes Dana, this could be mild chronic depression. Its similar to depression in that its a very core feeling. Its almost as if I'm being told to wait. That in itself is hard to accept, but also, while I'm waiting, its almost as if I'm being told to do nothing.

Wait for what? I can't answer that. Told to wait by who? For me that would be God. But its not a verbal telling, its pre-verbal. What is odd is that part of me is really interested in getting the drawing going, but when I try, theres nothing there.

What do they call Viagra for Artists? :D

Rose Queen
09-08-2003, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by erik_satie_rolls What do they call Viagra for Artists? :D

Absinthe? ;)

Hope things turn around for you soon, Erik. Maybe take a look at some of the recent posts on how to break artist's block and see if they might help you.



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DanaT
09-08-2003, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by erik_satie_rolls
Its almost as if I'm being told to wait. This DOES sound like you've got other issues to attend to. Maybe some digging will uncover them.

Originally posted by erik_satie_rolls
What do they call Viagra for Artists? :D

ROFLMAO Dan! :D

Take care.

Cathy Morgan
09-08-2003, 10:29 PM
Many different things can trigger this sense of "no point really to making my art is there?" feeling of no interest. What's tricky for me is that it's often difficult to catch and identify the trigger. For example, some things that can trigger it for me include:

1) I need something fixed in my studio that I can't fix myself. A man comes, fixes it. Everything is fine now except that suddenly I've lost interest in working in the studio. (I attribute this to my being a woman - and that on some unconscious level I assume the man is taking over my creative space.)

2) I tell someone about what I'm doing, or show them partly done work. They like it or they don't, express interest and enthusiasm or look bored. Either way, I may realize days or even weeks later that I stopped working on that piece after I "shared" it prematurely.

3) Someone visits where I live, or I socialize with them, and somehow I realize days later that I'm looking at everything around me through their eyes (as I imagine them) instead of through my own. And I'm not making art because I can only make art when I'm looking through my own eyes.

I find these triggers extremely annoying and embarassing - like fleas turning into gigantic dragons. But until I find some way to get rid of them or antidote them permanently, I've learned to be alert for them. The earlier I catch on to what's going on, the earlier I can do something on a conscious level to antidote them. Sometimes now just realizing "hey, I'm looking through X's eyes and not my own" is enough to change everything.

I'm just telling all this because you asked, Eric. None of my story and vulnerabilities may have anything to do with your lack of interest in drawing right now. What's going on for you may be totally different - and it will probably end in some kind of new growth spurt, one way or another.

Bill J
09-09-2003, 01:30 AM
Dan a couple of days of good hard physical labor should help.

Ron van den Boogaard
09-10-2003, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Bill J
Dan a couple of days of good hard physical labor should help.

It does, in those cases I go sailing, it's very pleasant physical labour and you have to be very focused to do it, so no other thoughts and/or crap can enter the mind.
also very good not to feel guilty that you didn't do art, these situations just happen, so you might as well enjoy them.

dodger
09-10-2003, 12:18 PM
Good insights here. I especially like what you said, Cathy, I think I've been there.

Dan, is it more of wondering what's the point, or is it that you forgot what's inspired you? I took a quick peek at your site, & I see that you're a representational artist. Would it help if you got out there to fill the well, taking in something visually that can spark the artist in you?

Julia Cameron talks about these creative/gestation cycles in the Artist's Way. A time for everything... reminds me of that song, Turn turn turn... I think it was originally from the old testament. Sometimes, it takes a while for the stew to simmer. Don't panic. Your artist, your creativity, is busy inside mulling over something. It might just need some time.

I separated from my husband a year & a half ago, & I'm still trying to find my stride. I've been doing this long enough (over 20 years) that I have the confidence in my inner artist, & she always pulls through. Right now, I have a workload of 3 shows, & 4 commissions, & I can't NOT work. (This is a drawback to being a professional) But I know that there are good things to come down the road... once I get through my committments & responsibilities, I have a brand new Sante Fe type easel that my brother in law built for me for my birthday (!!!) & some Old Holland oils. I want to grow, to do some large canvases, but right now it's about steady work, not growth... so I have to stick to fast acrylics, doing what I do. I love my subject matter, that's what really inspires me.

Whatever it is, it doesn't help to hang onto it so tightly. Just let it go & believe in yourself, in your personal god, or the universe, that this is the way it's to be right now. There is a purpose to everything.

Cathy Morgan
09-10-2003, 12:41 PM
It's evident that there are two main strategies for dealing with these periods. One is to keep on plugging, with the idea that when you "turn on" again, you'll be there at work. The other is to accept the period as a natural break, and do something else for a change until the tide turns.

The odd thing is that both strategies seem to work. The trick is to find out which one works better for you.

I read Doris McCarthy's autobiographies recently and noted that she chose to just keep plugging along. She'd do a lot of "dry, dull, not worth much" paintings during this period and then they'd start to be really good again.

But obviously this isn't the only way.

DanaT
09-10-2003, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by Cathy Morgan
It's evident that there are two main strategies for dealing with these periods. One is to keep on plugging, with the idea that when you "turn on" again, you'll be there at work. The other is to accept the period as a natural break, and do something else for a change until the tide turns.

The odd thing is that both strategies seem to work. The trick is to find out which one works better for you.


I even think one person can do either at different times, depending on whats appropriate. If one doesn't work, you can try the other.

erik_satie_rolls
09-10-2003, 05:23 PM
Thanks for your replies. Yes it is a matter of just getting through it. Sometimes its just good to vent. Things are more sane today, I appreciate everyone's support.

Dan

DanaT
09-10-2003, 08:39 PM
You know Dan? I was just thinking, you may NOT need to create art right now.

Just a thought reading over your first post. Sometimes these first intuitions are powerful and should be heeded.

Ivyleaf
09-10-2003, 10:21 PM
Erik...
You may not be "producing" right now, but believe me your creative mind *is* working, and it's working hard!

You've been such a big help with my "Sunflower" Photo Project...keeping me going and encouraging me...seeing things that I don't see...giving me ideas on the next step...and helping me define my goals and how to push forward and giving me the sense of feeling that *I* can do this.

You may not have realized what a big help you have been. You may have done these things without realizing that you've done them. You have, and I owe you a thank you more than words can say.

I can see that you have hoards of creativity in you, and it's brewing there waiting for the right time.

And I know when that time comes, we are going to see some absolutely amazing art from you, and that will be such an exciting day indeed!

I truly believe sometimes these things do need to *simmer* in our minds, and when the time is right, it *will* express itself.

:) :) :)
Ivy