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Monday, June 22, 2015

Artists Phobias - What happens if I run out of ideas???

"Creatiphobia - The fear of running out of ideas for creative projects including art, music and writing. Also known as Writers Block in writers circles"
Creative folk seem to suffer from all manner of interesting and unique phobias. What I call Creatiphobia (which may well have a truly technical term out there somewhere) is something I hear about from a lot of artists. That creeping fear that you are going to run out of new ideas for your art. That "Oh god" moment where you think this may be the last thing you create because its the best and nothing can outdo it so you might as well close up your studio and become a dog walker.

Depression plays a big part in this fear. When we get depressed we lose our ability to grasp at new ideas and turn them into reality. This is exactly why an artist should never give in to the temptation of depression to stop your work and just huddle on your couch eating ice cream and watching Oprah.

This crucial time may not generate any useful ideas, but just the mere act of creating will raise you out of the depression and set your feet back on the creative path.

Fear that you've stumbled on the last great idea can be eased if you just look around you and realize all the ideas you have generated already.

As an artist, I don't suffer from this one too often. I admit I also have that little insidious voice way in the back of my head that says "you better write that idea down for those lean days".

But in fact I think I suffer from the exact opposite most of the time. Lets call it "a ridiculous amount of ideas that the artist in no way can ever accomplish-a-phobia"

But for many artists the worry of lack of ideas is a truly horrible thing. It can freeze you in your tracks and even when you think of something, you doubt its any good. In cases like this I always suggest that you write the idea down anyway because it may be better than you think at the time or it may be possible to morph it into something better.

No idea is truly a bad idea. It may be that you don't have the skills to implement it, or the resources or the time. But that doesn't mean its useless.

I hear a lot of artists say that their most popular pieces were creations made without any ideas at all. They were either experimenting with technique or just playing around. This says a lot to me about how sometimes ideas can bog us down. We forget about the pure force of our creativity and how to just have fun with it.

A friend and fellow artist recently wrote an article which I posted to the blog about this called "Artists Must Play". She makes some great points about the artist at play.

I suppose the bottom line is, don't worry about running out of ideas because it just won't happen. Don't let that voice inside your head tell you differently even when your at your lowest. Every form of block can be overcome if you just relax and have fun. The ideas will start to flow again.

We are idea people. Its our tool in trade and if we beat ourselves up with it, we will not produce. When we relax, the ideas flow like water and we create great things.


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