"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." Sylvia Plath
Happy Birthday to Sylvia Plath. Here's a peek into a work in progress, where I am trying to fight that self-doubt.
I have been trying my best to fight this feeling of self-doubt, and I have finally broken through this creative block. You know that feeling that everything is stagnant, and your brain is stuck in limbo? That's creative block. And these are the reasons why I felt it, and how I got over it.
Confidence & Self-Doubt.
First, a quick story: I teach middle school-aged children art, and many of them are afraid to try new things, for fear of making a mistake. Some of my students won't even start to draw, and I've ended up with a pile of good white sheets of paper all crumpled up, because of one tiny "mistake." For a lesson on confidence, I destroyed a bunch of paper with rips and tears, paint stains, pen marks, and holes. I then read them a children's book entitled "Beautiful Oops", by Barney Saltzberg. After reading the story, they were to illustrate whatever they saw in those destroyed sheets of paper. The lesson was a huge hit, and to this day, the children use what they learned about taking a "negative" into a positive!
This lesson made me realize that this was exactly what I was going through. I was afraid. Afraid that the piece of art I would create would not be liked, would not come out the way it looked in my head, and that there were so many "better artists out there". It was silly. It was childish. For those of you who need a quick reminder, definitely read this book! It's so adorably illustrated, I think I enjoyed it more than the children!
Business Stuff, Actually Creating, and Social Life (or lack thereof).
Being a one-woman team is exhausting! From actually illustrating, to finally creating the end product, and then also focusing on managing my website, product styling, updating my shop, and keeping my social media pages like-able, my brain starts to hurt! Although each aspect of the business is a priority, there are only so many hours in a day. I realized that my sleep schedule affected my energy levels, and I needed to start organizing my time better. I am obsessed with list-making, but I would always put a number of tasks that would not be possible to do in a day. I realize now to reorganize my tasks, and create a weekly schedule, that is more realistic in terms of what a human is capable of doing.
I also realized that I would barely leave my house, unless it was to go to work, and would always make an excuse to not go out on the weekends. If I did go out, I would feel guilty all night about not working, and then punish myself by staying up all night. It was a horrible cycle that was not productive, made my grumpy, and affected my relationships. I missed my friends! This part is tough for me..I'm trying my best to balance work and life, and telling myself it's okay to step back from my studio space for a few hours, and just be out. I mean, that is where the sparks start to fly, and new ideas come to mind!
Definitely check out the Mr. Brainwash Gallery if you're in the NYC area, it's in the Meatpacking District, right by the Highline! (Walk the Highline if you have time too!)