By Kerry Lee
Special to the Herald
Creative blocks are barriers to inspiration and the inability to access one’s internal creativity. Those in creative professions—writers, musicians, performers, artists – are often more likely to be affected by creative blocks which can last for days, weeks, months, or even years. This was the case for my own decades-long case of what I have termed “creative constipation”. Chronic creative constipation was more like it.
Like all of us, as a child my imagination ran free, but as time went by I misinterpreted well-meaning messages that my creativity expressed through my hands as art wasn’t acceptable. Throughout my life I still loved to create, always enjoyed the process and often the results, however I was only able to create when I took a class. I had blocks on where to start. Likely I would have chosen a creative profession vs. the corporate path if not for these blocks.
Two years after leaving corporate life to finally and fully embrace life as a working artist and teacher of a transformative healing method of art called Intentional Creativity®, I still occasionally find it difficult to start an art project, especially if it is a new method or medium. For me the secret to releasing my creative constipation was a guided step-by-step process where I was told, and believed, I could make no mistakes. My logical brain believed this because I was using paint on canvas and I could keep painting over and over again on the same spot, if I wanted. However, my right brain and what I call my Muse got so caught up in the fun of playing with paint on canvas I forgot about making mistakes. Completing one large painting like this is all it took for me.
Since then when I feel I am entering a creative block, I have found several different methods to help me get past a block. My Muse seems to love deadlines. It’s the ‘just do something, anything, take a first step” thing. Play, especially with children and seeing through a child’s eye, gets me relaxed and seeing with a different perspective. I also like to learn how painters or other creatives create their work to spark new ideas. And music, exploring and finding new music awakens my Muse. However, my favorite way to release a block is to allow myself a big chunk of uninterrupted time to just putz and play and not worry about the results, and instead mindfully enjoy the process of discovery.
You’ll find photographs and the story of the painting that released my creative constipation on the blog section of my website, along with
on my home page. May creativity flow in your life and set you free!
Next week, I discuss the creative process with my mentor Shiloh Sophia McCloud.
Kerry Lee, a 25 year Benicia resident, is a Certified Intentional Creativity™ Teacher and Coach, leading group workshops, experiential retreats, mobile social painting parties, customized corporate team building and corporate social responsibility events and teaching essential oil lifestyle and wellness classes. Find her at KerryLeeArt.com / #TheAlchemicalArtist