September 13th, 2012
I haven’t been down in my studio for a good three months. Three months! You could call it creativity block or you could call it my own personal soul sucking, fear mongering, mental fog inducing, self-esteem deflating, psychosis making machine. Not to put too fine a point on it or anything.
I try not to ask myself why I tape flowers and leaves on the wall, or make my kids’ undies, or crochet cozies for our ottoman, because there is no satisfying answer. But questions do creep in: why not make something less ridiculous? why not make something that is actually profitable? why waste your time making silly things to show the internet? why do this when so many people do it better? why not use that expensive education of yours? Once the questions start, they don’t stop, and they become debilitating. Soul sucking now seems a more appropriate term than creativity block, don’t you think?
But making things, be it underwear, tools, flying suits, computer programs, or whatever, is what humans do. Our survival once depended on our ability to solve problems creatively. Now that drive is part of who we are and when the urge to make things goes unfulfilled we feel less human.
So I’m trying, trying to make things again, trying to feel human again. I know I hit these creative brick walls yearly and slam into them repeatedly until I find a ladder, but this time the ladder has been hard to find. I cleaned up my studio yesterday–even slapped some paint on the wall–hoping the ladder was there somewhere. Does this happen to you (hit a wall, let the sewing machine gather dust, avoid even thinking about making)? How do you get past it?