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Blocks to Creativity By Honorata Artlysing

24th August 2020

Blocks to creativity

Fear and creativity

As we look at different blocks to use of creativity we are often faced with feelings of fear.

Fear can stop us from trying new things, prevent us from ever trying anything outside our comfort zone. We all know fear can play both a positive and negative role.

Creativity is a form of play; it is natural to feel a bit uneasy about it. But ability to use creativity freely requires us to overcome that feeling of initial discomfort about the unknown and embrace the process rather than the result.

In this article I will show some examples of blocks to creativity, their roots and some simple activities that may help to overcome them.

Past experiences from art education- “good and bad art” concepts

Where is it coming from?

Many people sadly experienced negative feedback related to their art back in school years. Teachers who had more desire to judge than to nourish creativity damaged their students’ self-belief in using art for self-expression. This can be gently challenged by reassuring that using art for therapeutic and expressive benefits means removing “right” and “wrong” concepts. Power balance is moved towards the creator who is the only one able to experience the healing power of their own creativity and there is no competition, neither judgement involved in the art process.

 

Activity 1 – look what happened when Mona Lisa visited Spec Savers

Playfulness can help to break the fear rooted in past experiences. Try “rebellious art collage” by cutting out from an old art book a piece of traditional art (for example Mona Lisa face) and glue on top of some contemporary magazine images (for example Mona Lisa face combined with fashion images). This can make people laugh first but the most important thing is it can facilitate a mindset shift towards courage to use arts in expressive and playful way.

 

 

Fear of blank page- fear of starting

Where is it coming from?

Very much linked to desire of achievement, fear of failure and the hesitation to start can be present even among experienced artists. This is a natural human reaction and can be overcome with simple encouragement but not forcing.

Activity 2- examples of backgrounds

Offer working on pages/surfaces that are not blank. Have pages covered by random strokes of watercolours or acrylic paints. Alternatively changing a colour of paper from white to pastel can also help, as removing the association with white canvas/blank page.

 

 

Activity 2- examples of backgrounds

Offer working on pages/surfaces that are not blank. Have pages covered by random strokes of watercolours or acrylic paints. Alternatively changing a colour of paper from white to pastel can also help, as removing the association with white canvas/blank page.

 

 

 

Inner critic

Where is it coming from?

Our inner critic is always present. Rooted in anxiety, deficit of self- love and other fears can disturb the ability to use arts freely and expressively.

Activity 3 – speech bubbles ready for conversation with artwork

Try a dialogue technique with the art critic through the actual artwork created. Take a piece of artwork that is the source of judgement and talk to your inner critic. Draw speech bubbles around the artwork and answer questions like:

“What is this artwork telling you”

“Is this true or perception?”

“Who is this voice really? Yours or somebody else”

 

Wishing you to open to creative self!

Honorata

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