As instinctual and passion-driven artists are, often artists are their own critics that stand in the way of creating authentically and freely. This can often lead to creative paralysis as artists who have so much to express are unable to do so, because they are caught in their mental loops of overthinking and complicating their creative process. The cliché of the overthinking artist is something we have seen time and time again; romanticized in movies and novels as an interesting plotline that is simplified and resolved in a matter of three acts.
So, in this blog, I try to break down why we find ourselves in creative blocks, as we go spiralling down a hole of overthinking our art and creative pursuits and how we can get ourselves out of it.
Stop trying to be perfect
Perfectionism might be the biggest obstacle that we all face on our way to creating something or even just being productive. Trying to be perfect is often our subconscious way of justifying our procrastination. We take refuge in our research and “planning phase” of the creative project instead of actually doing it.
A blank canvas or page is a very intimidating sight for many, as it beckons us to express ourselves on it and we are afraid to tarnish its blank beauty with an idea that we might consider half baked. We have to let go of this idea that everything that we create needs to appeal to the masses or should be deserving of critical acclaim or should have the ideal conditions to start creating. We should take solace in the fact that we have something to express and have to do so with all its flaws and imperfections. Believing in perfection in art is a myth that should not be believed in, as it single-handedly stops an art career even before it blossoms.
The first step is to just get started….
Getting over overthinking…
To combat overthinking, here are a couple of things that you can try which I have recommended in earlier blogs:
- Pull out a drawing pad and a pencil. Plant yourself in front of a mirror, take a long look at your reflection and really examine what you look like: your skin, your hair, your eyes, your facial features. Now go back to your pad and start drawing your reflection. Stay in the moment, do not erase or scratch out any stray lines that you might have made. You should just focus on the point of your pencil and the picture that you have in your mind of your reflection. No other thoughts should be indulged in. Once done, take a look at what you have created but do not focus on how accurate it is to your reflection, but think about how you feel looking at a self-portrait of yourself and how you perceive yourself
- Art is not restricted to the canvas or a piece of paper. It transcends across mediums: gracing screens, the stage or even open spaces. One should try indulging in experiencing various art forms such as watching an art film or listening to a piece of music that you have not been exposed to before. The very nature of art is exploring what lies beyond the comfort zone and by consuming art that is presented in various forms, we open ourselves to new thoughts and ideas which only helps us grow and be introspective
There you have it! Just a little motivation for you to get going and making your way out of your head. Your mind is a beautiful place to be, but let’s not get trapped in it!
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