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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)

INSIGHTS ON MY OWN RESISTANCE

 New sketch from my current sketchbook project, 15”x11”, mixed media on paper, Copyright 2016 David Limrite

New sketch from my current sketchbook project, 15”x11”, mixed media on paper, Copyright 2016 David Limrite


“I think people who are not artists often feel that artists are inspired. But if you work at your art, you don’t have time to be inspired. Out of the work comes the work.” 
John Cage


Insights On My Own Resistance

Some days I am adamant in my unwillingness to get in the studio and work. I will just flat out state to myself that, today, I am refusing to go paint.

This is called resistance. Which is very different than procrastination by the way. Procrastination is putting off doing something or postponing a regular practice.

Resistance is opposition. It is refusal. It means that you are standing firm against creating today.

So, what gives, Limrite? Why are you so resistant to getting out into the studio sometimes?

Well, for me, it could be any one of three possible options: Fear, Anger or Unhappiness.

I may be afraid to go back into a piece that is working pretty well, but is not finished. This probably means that I have allowed the piece to become precious. Which means that I may have fallen in love with it too soon. Or, it could be fear of failure. Which means that I have put too much pressure on myself to create something brilliant.

I may be angry because I am hating the current piece that I am working on. This usually means that I am not painting very well at the moment and not achieving what I had hoped to accomplish. Or it may mean that I now hate my idea for this current painting. An idea that I thought was really good at the time I began the piece. It may be time to set this one aside for awhile and come back to it later. Or abandon it all together.

Lastly, it may be that I am just not having any fun. Art is supposed to be fun, right? When I am not having fun, it usually means that I feel obligated to finish something that is just not inspiring me anymore. This is a terrible feeling. It may be time to move on and work on something else that hopefully will get my creative juices flowing again.

The important thing for me is to not let resistance slow, or worse yet, stop my momentum. 

So, when things are not going well in the studio, (or in my mind), I focus on process. I focus on the act of creating. The attempt. The mark making. Works almost every time. {Smile}.

Best,

David


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