I don’t know about you, but if I’m not in a constant state of momentum, I feel stagnant and antsy.
This is a very difficult thing to deal with when working in a creative field. As a working artist of any kind, you are always expected to be “on”. To have all the best ideas and be able to deliver on the spot at a moments notice for a variety of clients, personalities and deadlines. And hey – that’s why you’re a working artist and not a starving one I guess! But it’s also an added pressure that I’m sure all of us have dealt with as artists. You don’t always have the luxury of having time to explore and experiment. Actually, it’s a rare occasion that I’d every have that luxury! Most days when I edit videos for my clients, I’m given 3 or 4 days to conceptualize, draw, animate, find music and sound effects, then finalize and deliver an amazing flawless piece. After a few of these rushed timelines you start to get completely drained and need to replenish yourself with a new spark of energy. Or at least I do! Because endless projects like this just leads to creative depletion, writers block and laziness.
When this happens, my underlying wanderlust bubbles under the surface and my need to be impulsive kicks into gear. And I’m at this point right now.
Days and months seem to be flying by so fast that I’ve had trouble keeping up and documenting here on the danger blog like I’ve wanted to. I am a spontaneous sagittarian and have never been good when it comes to keeping schedules of any kind. In the midst of my inner flux of feeling stagnant, I’ve also been struggling with the fact that I don’t have a studio anymore, and not only that, but my computer at home is so outdated that I can barely use photoshop without it crashing. I’m desperately waiting (and saving money) for apple’s latest release and really hope that it happens soon!!
Usually the right mix of music, traveling and being outdoors away from my computer is the exact prescription that I need for escaping those inevitable blocks. Or, if travel isn’t a possibility at the time, even just breaking routines and doing something out of the ordinary helps me break through.
I put this into practice over the last month and attended a variety of random events that I may not normally attend. I chanted mantras with Deva Premal and Mitan, I finally attended a Flaming Lips show, I drank unusual local brews at Half Full’s Rare Beer Night, I purchased tickets to visit somewhere I’ve never been for November (ANGUILLA!!!), I started working on a guerilla street art project, and I attended the Food & Wine Festival where I got to meet Chef Graham Elliot and Chef Richard Blais. (Which is cool and nerdy if you’re into Master Chef or Top Chef).
All of these things have stirred up my creative juices and I’m ready for whatever comes next! I’ve learned that it’s easy to get comfortable, and that sometimes the best thing you can do is challenge yourself or do something different. If this is applicable to you – this is your reminder to change things up and make different decisions that will lead you away from the expected. It’ll surely lead to new creative directions.
Oh, and if you need more inspiration, check out Scott Dinsmore at TEDx (who created the creed at the top of this post)