Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Responses To 3 Things Found on the99percent.com

I read "7 Types of Creative Block (and What to Do About Them)" by Mark McGuinness. This article caught my eye because I know how frustrating it is when I am in what I call a creative “drought”, or periods of time when I feel uninspired, don’t have motivation to create art, or lack fresh ideas that I feel are worth manifesting in art form. When these droughts happen to me, I feel as though time is slipping by and I’m wasting precious moments that I could be using to produce art and express important ideas. This article gave me realistic ways to pull myself out of this drought, or even how to work through it. As the title suggests, it listed 7 different forms of creative block and possible solutions to conquer them. These consisted of getting trapped in your own thinking, avoiding uncomfortable emotions that may surface during the creative process, faulty work habits, personal problems, poverty of money, time, knowledge etc., being overwhelmed (whether that’s overwhelmed by too many obligations or even too many ideas or options), and finally, communication issues. I really liked the advice Mark had to offer for these problems, because I could apply them to my own life easily.

I read “Setting the Scene for a Productive Day” by Elizabeth Grace Saunders. I enjoyed this article because it was new advice to an old problem, and it was refreshing to me to hear what Saunders suggested solution to being more productive was. I struggle as do most, with getting my list of to-do’s done on a day-to-day basis. But to actually accomplish what I should, requires more than just writing a to-do list. It’s about keeping up my motivation as long as possible, so as to make the most of the time the day offers. Saunders suggests reevaluating and reconstructing your surroundings as a first step. This means that if you immediately lose some motivation or energy when you go home from work, then stop at the gym or errands right after work for example, instead of trying to pry yourself off the couch once already home. Also, organize your workspace so it’s not overwhelming or distracting. And lastly, observe which places in your life trigger which emotions or mental responses, and use that gained knowledge to your advantage.

I read and thoroughly enjoyed “Piet Parra: My Life Has Surpassed Expectations” by Arye Dworken. This is an interview with Piet Parra who is a Dutch artist and clothing designer. The main reason I enjoyed reading Parra’s responses to the questions asked of him was because he seemed genuine, down to earth and human in his answers. Many of the questions were common straightforward inquiries that could be asked of any artist such as “Do you have a ritual for making creative work?” and “How often do you draw and paint?” And instead of sounding pretentious, overconfident or distant, Parra wasn’t afraid to tell of his insecurities, worries or frustrations with art and creativity. I found this reassuring, because I personally struggle with productivity and self-criticism in my own work, so to hear someone who is a successful artist admit these flaws, made me more hopeful.