There's been a lot of writing about a creative drought going on in my life currently. It's not super fun, but I'm working hard to jumpstart it all again. I've been in this state, a tired, low energy mode for the past couple weeks. Life gets a hold of you and drains every little bit out of you that it can. You can't let the minutia of life get you down though.
Last post I made a list of ways I'm working to get the creative juices flowing:
As a result of #5 I've been checking out some new podcasts that deal with my current dilemma, and I found a fairly new one called Creative Something. It's basically two guys that tackle a certain question pertaining to the creative life. Today, I listened to the episode called "Creativity and Suffering".
In it, they discussed the trope that an artist must be tortured in order to adequately create. Obviously, that idea is flawed, but there is some truth in it. What was determined was something interesting and could be proven by my particular situation: We are activated creatively by emotional extremes. You feel expressive and reflective when you are down and depressed, but some of the same feelings of creativity come when you are joyous. It's the feeling of "contentment" and equilibrium that keep you from creating, because you don't feel the need to. That's the feeling that has you watching TV instead.
Since my routine was flipped on its head when we moved to a new house, at the end of the day I just want to chill out and watch TV or read. I don't want to write or go out and take photos in the heat. I have a full time job during the day already. I don't have feelings in that situation due to my passive consumerism in that moment.
The original 365 project was birthed out of happiness; I had just become an independent college student with almost no rules. Photography was still pretty new, and I jus wanted to take photos, no matter how bad. My excitement acted as a mental cup of coffee. Then, my parents got divorced, and I created 365 Season 2 and began exploring more film photography. What was created was a dark, fictional noir photo essay that dealt with reflection moments before death. (I'll have to re-release that sometime, it's disappeared into the depths of the internet somewhere) Then, the joy and depression combined in what became 365 Reloaded, which was a roller coaster ride. My aesthetic was constantly changing and moody. Now, I've combined joy and darkness in my current 365 project, with more of that to come. My best work was created when my emotions were offset from "contentment"
Now, I go to work, come home, and go to sleep. My life over the past few weeks has been very passive. I'm scared, because I recognize it, but it's just so damn hard to change when you're already there. I don't want to be a tortured artist, or one that must always feel immense joy in order to create. I want to keep a routine of creative exploration that keeps me reflecting or makes me happy along the way. I need to move back from being passive to active. It's the only way to create consistently. I must pursue creativity, because it's never going to find me on its own.