Where did my inspiration go? Notes on art block and the cycle of the creative mind - blog article by Artist Heidi Monsant

Where did my Inspiration go?

Notes on Art Block and the cycle of the Creative Mind

Aurora over the lake - fantasy landscape art by Heidi Monsant

The Cycle of Inspiration

Creativity is like a pool of water, and you draw inspiration out from it when you create. 
But it is not bottomless or infinite. 
There is a view that artists must always be inspired, and artists experiencing art block tend to stress over their lack of inspiration. 
But here’s the thing: Inspiration comes in waves. 
It ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes. You find yourself experiencing overpowering creative bursts, followed by lulls and burnouts. 

This is a natural process. When you stretch your mind and draw power from yourself, there always needs to be a recovery period. When you have used up your inspired thought, you need to give it time and nurture it before it can give again.

But the artistic mind, perfectionistic and anxious as it is, makes you believe that you must always be inspired. Thanks, brain. 

So this leaves you with two choices; to wait for the rain, or to take control and make it rain. 

How to refill your creativity

Inspiration is a mixture of the things you experience in the world, and of things that come from within yourself. 

Art cannot flourish in isolation. This is something I learnt all too well during lockdown last year. There is wonder and beauty and variety out in the world, and this fuels your art practice. 

You can’t draw water from an empty pool, and trying to force it will only result in stress.

Take care of yourself, and your creativity will blossom. 

Taking care of your inner artist

One of the best things to do if you’re feeling stuck is to ask yourself: “What have I done to nurture my inner artist?”

Have you taken him/her outside for some time in nature? Have you shown them art that lights them up? 

And most importantly, have you shown them patience and given them rest when they need it? 

Searching for our new home - scifi art by Australian fantasy artist Heidi Monsant
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1 comment

Thank you for recommended this, you have such a way with words! I loved it! I have been beating myself up over it, and I know I shouldn’t, but I just want to get better, you know?

Jord Price

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