Bookworm Bonanza

bookworm bonanza

As mentioned in previous posts, I’m a bit of a book geek. And as such, I’ve collected a lot of bookish visual inspiration. Clearly, I’d rather be reading…

Pictured above:


Creative blocks and monsters

I’ve been really dissillusioned lately.  My new job taps into all the things I fear most about myself – that my real calling in life is to be a paper-pusher and a watcher of other people’s creative output.

Previously, I was a maker of things. Now, I am an organizer of other’s creative endeavors. I was never all that confident of my own creations but now I am even more creatively rudderless. The longer I go without creating, the more I think that my previous creative output was either a coincidence or just a dream. Yesterday, I was inches away from a complete meltdown as I felt a roomful of eyes focus on my efforts to feel like a contributor to the creative process but resulted in making me looking even more like a paper-pushing, number-cruncher than ever. I wanted to run and hide and never go back.

Creative_license_coverAs I try to personally fight these inner demons and daily demands, I have started reading books on writing, creative inspiration, journals — both writer’s journals and art journals. In the last week, I have read Messy Thrilling Life and have worked my way into A Room of One’s Own, Creative License and Leaving a Trace. Part of my long-neglected new year’s resolution was to tackle the Artist’s Way again. I probably accomplished its requisite 3-pages-a-day for about a week and re-read the first two chapters. All of these books talk about finding a way to find the inner voice, quiet the inner critic and tap into personal creativity. There are many similarities between them; each discussing how to overcome  self-doubt and creative paralysis. All of the books recommend working through the droughts in creativity by writing the same words or phrases over and over again (personal mantras and positive thinking). I’ve found some artists online who use a doodle technique that is similar. Draw what you like to draw – Mr. Walters goes back to his ducks, robots and yeti each day in his 4x6x365 project to “keep his hand moving”. Michael Cho goes back to his childhood hero, Iron Man, and the alleys of his neighborhood as a source to get him drawing and move past the mental blocks.

I’ve thought about giving my creative block actual form so that I can laugh at him, hit him and diminish his power over me. Julia Cameron suggests a cartoon image of a monster that can be tacked on the wall with scratch marks and comments to lessen his threat. Alexandra Johnson suggests writing all those inner voice comments onto 3x5s and then at the end of the day, chucking them in the bin. I think a ritualistic shredding, burning or agressive scribbling might be more cathartic.

(I drew my creative block as something dorky. I can’t be afraid of anything that looks that dorky. And my inner critic looks mean but pretty squashable.)

How do you fight your inner critic? What does he or she look like? Post comments at will.