Being an Artist

Frustration is having an itch you can’t scratch.  You know what I’m talking about – in my case, it’s art. I wanna do the thing, but I just can’t. The thing is broken.  Maybe you write – you want to, but you just don’t know what to even start with. Sports is your thing, but none of the normal stuff is giving you the satisfaction you want. Maybe that itch is literally on the bottom of your foot, and no matter what it just. Won’t. GO.

Annoying. Or you can call it artists block.

That’s right. We’re back on me. I am an artist parading as a scientist who think’s she’s a scientist parading as an artist. My therapist would call this imposter syndrome.  I call it me being me, being dramatic.  We all have these moments. We all have times when all the effort we’ve put into something decides to spit up in our face and turn limp like overcooked broccoli. What do you do in these moments? I have a lot of different things I try to get myself motivated, regardless of the task. Today it’s art, tomorrow it might be going to the gym, or maybe finishing a paper, writing a letter (I think this can also be called procrastination, but I’ve chosen my battle).

When I’ve been going for too long, I’ll try to separate myself from my work – and I don’t just mean putting it away and fiddling on your computer, I mean physically removing your butt from the room and vacating elsewhere. Let it stew. Go play a game.

I like to go for walks, whether it’s to the fridge or down the road. Taking a little walk away usually helps me clear my mind by thinking around whatever problem I’m having. Never directly about it, because the human brain is a little bitch and runs away from it’s problems. It’s like if Pinky and the Brain morphed into one useless, slimy being and is hellbent on making you wonder whether or not you really turned the stove off.  Or, you just happen to randomly know the answer to some innocuous question in a conversation. Chaotic Neutral.  Think around the problem, have a snack. Be a snack.

If I want to keep working but not on the same project I’ll start something new – usually smaller, more simplified concept-wise than the other, and more fun.  It keeps me feeling productive while putting something on hold so I can come back to it. I’ve avoided projects *commissions* successfully, sometimes for months, but it means I probably shouldn’t anyway. No one wants a half-assed piece of work.

Sometimes you just need to abandon a project altogether, and that can be a decently hard decision to make . No one likes to start all over again, especially after months.  Staleness is a thing that happens, in art, in science, whatever it is that you like. Sometimes I’ll just blast some awesome music and dance around like no one’s watching.

No one is, I double check.  The murderer behind the shower curtain gets locked in for the night and everything.

The point is you should pity me because this is ALL THE TIME. But also, mental blocks of all types affect everyone and everyone has different ways to deal with it – what’re some of your methods? Do you have any? Are you blessed to not know of artist’s block? Have you LIVED?

Life is hard, make it easier.



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