A word on creative blocks

When you rely on your creativity to pay the bills and build your reputation, you can’t afford to be short of ideas or the energy to put them into action. When you can’t get over it, under it or round it; what do you do? Often in an artists career we come to a dry patch, its hard to think of ideas, we get stuck, we hit a wall. Whatever you want to call it, it can seem impossible to overcome it.

Recently I hit a creative dry patch. To get my practice moving again I took on a self-initiated project whereby I constructed, documented and deconstructed a new idea for a work everyday I was in my studio. I set myself rules, e.g. that I could not buy any new materials, that I had to use what was already in my studio and that I had to leave a clean empty space ready to start again the next day. I set myself a time limit of three weeks to undertake this project. You can read abotu how I got on here: www.a-n.co.uk/p/3636906/.

What tactics have you employed to get over this hurdle if we have ever encountered it?
· month, week, day projects to kick-start
· discussed our work with others
· stopped practicing for a while, until the ideas naturally return
· procrastinated
· worked on something else mindlessly before returning to work
· returned to education (MA, PHD, etc)
· got another job
· try a different approach
· visited somewhere to inspire our thoughts

I would be interested to hear from other artists and what tactics they have used to get over it???

“It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward.” – Stephen Hawking

“The best cure for a dry period to simply to keep at it. Good things are happening, soon to be revealed.” – Eleanor Blair

“When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” – Barbara Bush

“The process of becoming unstuck requires tremendous bravery, because basically we are completely changing our way of perceiving reality…” – Pema Chodron

“As well as many subspecies, the main blocks are fear of failure after previous success, fear of success due to a sense of unworthiness, lack of potential venue, jaded attitude, crisis of confidence, evidence of persistent poor quality, lackadaisical motivation, and common everyday shortage of ideas.” – Robert Genn