Viewing single post of blog ‘I DRAW’

I’ve been in the grip of what is often called ‘Creative Block’ for a long time. It’s miserable and it’s boring. In spite of it, I continue to draw and I continue to teach Drawing and to believe in Drawing as a serious Art form. My ‘creative block’ takes the form of a kind of dull feeling of “What’s the point?”. I have faith in what I’ve already drawn, but it’s knowing what to do next is where the problems are.  I think it might be a kind of Depression.

A quick trawl through YouTube will yield a whole load of videos with annoyingly over-emphatic people spouting their cheerful solutions for when you lack “inspiration”. But in my case, my periods of creative block have never taken the form of a lack of ‘inspiration’ or lack of ideas. Perhaps I should say that ‘creative block’ is an ever-present given but that sometimes it gets the better of me. And like many others, from working class backgrounds who work in The Arts, I experience what is sometimes referred to as ‘impostor syndrome’. My hunch is that any Artist who doesn’t lack confidence probably isn’t trying hard enough or taking their Art seriously enough.

It’s hard to know what the causes of my own creative block are. I’ve no doubt it has a lot to do with my particular personality traits and lots to do with childhood. I’ve no doubt that the parts of my personality which drive me to make works of Art are those same parts which cause me to have such powerful doubts. But it’s also the case that uncertainties about income and my deep and long-term worries about having a home play a part too. Living in a place like Thanet, with its ‘Cultural Regeneration’, doesn’t help matters either. There will be many contributing factors and I don’t believe for a moment that there is ever any straight forward cause-and-effect when it comes to ‘Creative Block’.

I’m choosing to believe that my ‘creative block’ is all part of a process of change and that this change is taking place on subconscious levels as much as anything else. Whatever comes next is a ghostly thing that can’t be forced into being: it must be allowed to take its own time and form.

For the time being, the practice of Life Drawing, along with my teaching practice, is keeping me in touch with Drawing. I’m dropping out of life ever so slightly. I’m letting things slide. I’m trying not to worry. It’s my tactical and a strategic withdrawal in order to re-group and then re-engage. And as with Drawing, we never know what comes next. We’ll see.

If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment below and/or go to my other Drawing blog ( where you can join in with the discussion there.

I presently have work included in the Anima-Mundi gallery’s online exhibition, “Thresholds (The Unnamed)” and in the Turner Contemporary Open exhibition.

1 Comment