Beyond the Fence

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen, even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.”  - Leonardo da Vinci

As of late, I've been feeling creatively stagnant which leaves me feeling non-productive. And there's nothing I dislike more, than that.

Right now, I'm having a hard time putting the creative engine into gear, whether it's drawing, design, and even writing. I'm just drawing blanks. Everything I try, I feel like I'm failing miserably at and the results aren't up to snuff. (In my head at least.) Since creating is one of my favourite things in this world, it is quite frustrating when my right brain goes into sleep mode like this. On an average day, I never have a problem self-starting anything that comes to mind or getting items on my "to-do" list done. But these last few weeks have been far from productive.

I know that forcing the creativity to happen just won't work - as that theory always proves true - and leaves me more frustrated than before. I'd feel like quitting everything and start something new so I didn't have to feel like I sucked. I would describe this is as the "tantrum-phase", which I am slowly closing in on.

Luckily though, I've managed to get through many of these ebbs without flipping a table. I've also come to understand that the key to unlocking these creative blocks is movement. Whether it's doodling meaningless things on a page, to writing whatever comes to mind. The point of it all is to stop over-thinking and just do. I recognize that I am here now and am trying to work through it - even embrace it - and realizing it's only temporary. I'll get my fire back. It's all part of the process.

But first, I have to get beyond the fence in the backyard, so to speak, and stop waiting for something to intrigue me. I need to wander the neighbourhood, explore without direction or purpose, and see what comes.

At this point, it feels, that I'll be kicking an empty can down the block for some time until something interesting comes along but I can't worry about that - as it'll only make this journey worse.

So here I go...

Throwing Shit at the Wall...

You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself and you will not be sure of what you are doing. That's all right, you are feeling your way into the thing. - Emily Carr

When life is so routine and so focused on being productive, you stop having fun and you stagnate. Getting your brain thinking in a different way, is key to kick starting the creative engine.

I've been feeling a little stagnant myself. The routine of life was taking over and the auto-pilot was kicking into high gear. When this happens, my creative brain shuts off and life gets boring. That can't happen! So the last couple of weeks, I've been making a conscious effort to lose myself in every hobby I ever enjoyed; Drawing, sketching, journaling, reading, gaming, cooking. Some, I haven't even thought of doing in years; like stepping into a library, or picking up a drawing utensil for the purpose of drawing a work of art, or journaling for the sake of recording any random thought or idea that comes to mind. Already, I've noticed a significant shift in my thinking and processes as if I'm unblocking the dam and water is slowly trickling through. All I had to do was move something.

Sketch from my random thought book

Sketch from my random thought book

My only goal here is to create without judgement - for I am my worst critic. There is no agenda, no schedule, no design brief, or client to please. Just pick up a tool and go. I have no idea what I'm doing, what I'm going to create, what direction I'm headed. It's as if I'm throwing the proverbial shit at the wall to see what sticks.  

It's a little too early to say what will stick and what will sluggishly slide to the shop floor but I'm intrigued by the mystery of it all.

I forget that this is how it used to be so, if anything, it's nice to get back to that.