Thursday, 7 November 2013

Block Head

(Walk in the Park © Alison Day)

Ever get those days when you can't settle to anything work/creative-wise? 

You know, when ideas don't flow: another assignment has precedence/a deadline;  the IKEA delivery will arrive when you're in the studio at the end of the garden; yet another cuppa and digestive is needed to kick start the creative process; we've gone from summer to autumn in the blink of an eye; it's reward time from the cat - a large and mangled, pinkish-brown earthworm has been brought to be admired, the image of which won't leave your head. You feel deflated, uninspired and slightly insecure - the list goes on...*sigh*

Of course you do, everyone does at one time or another. Recently, a friend in an arty group that I subscribe to (Facebook), was experiencing just such a block and called for help, asking for our feedback. What did we do when we felt 'blocked'? How does one deal with it and what action(s) did we take? Should she ignore it and wait for the inspirational tide to turn, or just 'suck it up' as part of the creative process?

The reactions were abundant, sympathetic, interesting and varied. Not surprising really, seeing as we are all connected by an invisible thread in the web of the need to create. Frustrations intermingled with solutions skipped down the timeline, stories with a common denominator of being 'blocked' in pursuit of such a seemingly beautiful career. A solitary one too for the most part, often referred to as a vocation, or not, depending on how you answer: "So, what is it exactly that you do?" to that annoying question, to which you blurt out nervously: "I'm an artist."

Needless to say I put in my pennyworth. So, here are a couple of points, which help me deal with procrastination and mental 'block's: 

1. Take a walk (sun shining helps) with either a sketchbook, camera or none of the former - see where it takes you.

2. Do something completely unrelated to what you feel blocked about - gardening, cleaning the house (my pet hate too, but kills two birds with one stone) - let your thoughts flow, but don't plan any action yet... afterwards see what comes up in your head?

3. Chocolate/Wine/Dance/Tea & cakes/Chat with a friend - The emphasis here is to spoil yourself and not to beat yourself up about the 'block'. View it as a point of necessary transition - keeping you on track and on your life's path.

Taking my own advice, below are a few of the photos I took a couple of days ago having chosen no. 1 on my list and an autumnal walk in the park...

and only tomorrow knows if I'll be wielding a paintbrush or the extendable arm of the blasted Hoover, as mentioned in no. 2. 


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