Tag Archives: advice

advice for creative people

geological surveys on Mars show it’s hollow and filled with oil and water / mono print

Are you an artist or writer and you’re stuck with a project or maybe just not in the mood to work on it? Don’t beat yourself up over it. It happens to all of us. The thing about creativity is, I can’t force it. I guess there are writers or visual artists that can push through a block but I’m the type to put the project down until a better time.

Mars gets wifi / mono print

It can help creativity if you simplify your life. It takes a certain mental state like alpha brain waves or something for an artist to be in the groove, in the zone. If you have a job, family to care for, responsibilities etc. that’s enough to block the right brain waves. Time spent alone can help reset your brain to be creative.

dinosaur egg found on Mars / mono print

Your art is for your enjoyment. If you’re not enjoying it you should take a break and do something else. Just because you are creative doesn’t mean you owe the world your creativity. Unless you think the world owes you. In that case maybe you do owe the world. But as for me, I don’t owe the world. I wouldn’t like to feel “driven” like some artists feel. For me that would be an unbalanced mental state. And when I think about the meaning of “driven” I can’t relate metaphorically. I’m in control of my car. I’m the driver. I leave when I’m ready to go.

first murder on Mars

It doesn’t have to be something difficult, if you’re experiencing a creative block. You can goof around and amuse yourself like I do with these mono prints. There are tons of fun projects for writers too. I’ve seen things like black out poetry and some kind of games that writers can do for fun if the novel isn’t happening today. If you’re a writer you probably know more fun writing projects than I do. I know fun paint projects.

This advice is for artists that are not professional. If the art doesn’t pay the bills, who cares if it happens on any given week. If art does pay the bills, you probably know how to push through a block. If you’re an amateur like me then you’re doing art because you love it. That’s the true meaning of amateur. It’s good for me because it’s no stress. If it was a real job it would only be a short time before I want to quit. Give me a week to make someone mad by saying something stupid or someone making me mad and I’m outta there. Taking it easy on yourself leads to longevity in your art.

another pastel study of ruby spider lilies and some advice on mental health for artists

IMG_2068

Art. It can be sublime. It can be transcendental. This sketch might not show it, but to me this is an example of my attempts to rise above the things in life that had me whipped. It’s not about the finished artwork. It’s about keeping at it and going through a process.IMG_2069

I’m not an expert on mental health. I can only talk about my own life and I try not to focus on the negative. I can’t talk specifically about how bad it was for me. You’ll have to take my word for it when I say I slogged through that black tunnel with no light in sight for years. I don’t trust doctors so I didn’t take drugs for it which only mask the symptoms but don’t solve the problem. That’s not to say I didn’t self medicate, because I did. These days I feel ok. I still get bummed some days but not as bad and not as often which makes me feel like it might be over and now I might be immune to anymore depression.

Why are so many artists depressed? We can blame it on hormones, genetics, modern life, I don’t know. But if you’re a girl and your Dad was depressed then hormones isn’t the reason. I’m one of the younger baby boomers. Now I’m retired and it’s good. I think about the talented people who commit suicide and it’s a shame that those people don’t get to enjoy life’s rewards because they killed themselves. If you knew in advance that your depression would last fifty years and in all those years happiness would be fleeting but depression would last, would you hang in there for peace of mind in your old age? Don’t you deserve peace of mind even if you have to wait so long for it?

It’s possible that depression is part of the human experience for the reason that if we were all happy and satisfied with our lives we wouldn’t be motivated to improve our situation. The world today is better than it was throughout history. We live longer than out ancestors. Why? Because they were unhappy about disease and did something about it. We need to carry on for the next generation because, as I see it, there is no purpose to life except to continue. Yes. Life’s only purpose is to continue. There is no meaning.

There’s something we can do as artists that non artists can’t do. We can leave the world with our best artwork when we die. Making art will cause your brain to temporarily click over to a different frequency from your depressed state. You can get into the art zone every day for a few hours which is a relief, and then later look at the progress you made. If you do that over the course of years you see an improvement and that can be encouraging even though in the real world you’re still a loser. You can be a lonely social outcast and you can give beauty to the world. If an artist has an easy life their work is just so much fluff. If you suffered you don’t have to continue to suffer for your work to show your soul. you’re work will always have that because it was a part of your life and it will come through.

If I can do it you can too. Stay alive. Do the best you can. Stop being so hard on yourself. Distract your sad brain with art, music, literature, travel, games, anything you like, until you feel better. You’re not the problem. It’s the world. It’s not you, it’s those people. Living better without them is the best revenge. When you get older and have time to examine your life you might find it easier to understand and accept.

And when you do find something that gives your mind a break, savor it like fine chocolate. Go back to the good thing every day for a little while. Take your time there.

That’s all for now.