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Creative Blocks and the Search for Inspiration

Hello! I am Stephen Green and today I want to talk to you about... Walls

Every now and then I find myself hitting a wall in my creative process and I find myself staring at a blank page in my "ideas journal" and frustration starts setting in. Will call it a "creative block", but I find that no term feels accurate enough to capture the frustrating void that we artistic types find ourselves in when desperately desiring to create yet lacking the clay to build the bricks.


Bricks

Where does this come from? These walls come from multiple places and I think it's important to recognize that this is completely natural.

I know not a single creative, whether it be a photographer or model or painter etc, that have not bloodied their nose from smashing face-first into a creative block. So don't make it worse by punching your face in response to something you can't control and should totally expect to sneak up on you.


These blocks can be informative signs of current status. If you're hitting a wall you might need to do a health check on yourself and ask some major questions. Are you anxious? Stressed? Depressed? how much have you been investing in your self-care? Sometimes a block is a sign that we need to slow the frap down and breathe for a min. Walk away from the wall for a moment and check on YOU.


If you've done that you find yourself in a good place, GREAT! You can still be in a block but now we can move confidently on to the next step...


Knocking down the wall!

Even in a place of healthiness we can find walls blocking the way to our goals. Knocking down the wall looks different for each of us but here are a few things that I have found useful for me, as well as many of my friends.


1) Freewriting. This is the act of spilling words out on paper (or word doc) without care for structure, spelling, or understandability. Let whatever thoughts and ideas that pop into your thought sponge find substance, allowing your mind to naturally process and defragment. The elements with the most substance will stay and the rest will fade, but this is an incredible way to let ideas crystalize.


2) Music and Art. Grab your iPod (Jesus....did I just type that? I swear I'm not old)

and stick those headphones in and let the music flow through you. Music is one of our greatest tools for activating the imagination, embracing our emotions, and processing reality. (I recommend Billie Eilish, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, LANY, and Bleachers. Just to name a few).


In the same way, looking at other artists in and out of your niche can spark new ideas and life into your own work! Just be careful not to fall into the trap of comparison which can add to the wall rather than break it down. But when it doesn't become a hindrance, the amazing work that others have put out into the world (Like the make up and costume concept by @gxlden.dimples to the left here) can help put the pieces together and solve the solution or our problem with creativity!


3) Physical Activity. Now before you close the tab, please note that I'm not saying "cardio" or some malicious activity like that. This could be anything from yoga to playing a board game.

You may be into cardio, and if so then God bless ya. However, the point I'm making here is merely to go and do something that demands some measure of engagement but not heavy decision making. Find a way to get the blood flowing whether it be a walk, breathing meditation, or even playing a board game with a friend. Just getting outside into fresh ait can be enough to reignite the creative soul. Or go rollerblading like my friend @xo.dollynae here!



Repeat As Necessary

You might find yourself still feeling creatively constipated and that's fine. You can do this all over again. The point is, don't try to force something into existence. Even if you succeed it will almost always be subpar to the art that you would have created if you had taken the time to break away from the moment and refresh yourself.


And if you are someone who is familiar with the ills of anxiety, please note that these are also incredible therapeutic responses to that as well!


In fact, what you just read is a list of coping skills that I developed along with the help of my therapist as a means of dealing with anxiety, and it has proven equally useful in dealing with creative blocks. So I hope that this list also works for you, no matter what reason you might have for taking the time to implement them. Comment Below!

Was this a useful list for you? What do you use to deal with creative blocks? Share your insights and experiences with the community in the comments below!

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