Monday, August 13, 2012

Overcoming Artist Block

Hello friends!

This will probably be a bit of a longer post than normal. I feel reflective today.

I'm really happy (and relieved) to say that I'm finally past my art block. It was going on for nearly three years, which also happened to coincide with my time spent at art school and out of art school. The program I was in (IDEA - illustration & design, elements and applications) was incredibly intense. I can't really describe the way I felt during that program in words. I met some amazing people, felt like I had a giant creative family, and learned a lot along the way.

I had dedicated myself so much during the second year, that I was spending over 12 hour days at school, working on my assignments (many days as long as 16 hours a day). The program was full time, so I was there all week and most weekends. I prayed a lot during that time, asking God to keep me focused and sane, because the hours and assignments piling up stressed the hell out of me, and I was mentally drained.

So basically it was hell, but the kind of hell you're dedicated to and don't want to give up on. I ended up having some sort of a nervous breakdown right after Christmas break in the second year, and ended up having to leave the program. It didn't help that I have a panic disorder, anxiety, and agoraphobia, so all in all I had a lot to work on, and am still working on.

It's taken a long time for me to pick up the paintbrush/pen/pencil because I actually feel inspired and need to make something. I haven't felt this overwhelming desire in years... I think my time spent at school had sucked that spark out of me, and now that I was out, it didn't know how to come back.

I've been reflecting lately over what has changed in my mind. Why do I suddenly have ideas again? Why am I so inspired and filled with creativity and the need to create? I think I've figured it out.

Christina Lank and Alice Savage are two artists who are constantly producing artwork. Everyday they have something new to share. Everyday I see there work, their inspiration, and I see something of myself hidden there. Their drive, their talent, their need to create... and I feel like it's bringing me back to me. I've found myself thinking, 'oh Alice has a new drawing up, I should share something too!' or Christina is working on a painting and showing the wips and I think, 'I should paint something so I can share the wips too!'.

In a business sense/promoting sense this makes perfect sense. You want to sell art? Be a prolific artist, and constantly share new work. I have a strong interest in business, so those thoughts are always in my head. But as an artist I think I forgot the simple joy of creating and then sharing. I want to be a part of the fun, and share my work with my artist friends who inspire me. Simple as that. :)

Christina also mentioned the idea of making an 'art collection' with a theme, and how that inspires her. I've been thinking about this for a few months - what kind of theme is me? what do I want to paint a lot of? But I think the real question should have been, what do I need to paint a lot of? and then focus on that.

Now that I'm feeling inspired and full of creativity, the theme of a collection has finally come to me, and with that a NAME!

Cryptic Femina will be feminine, ethereal, but also with, as someone once commented on my work, "an edge of the nasty." Picture beautiful, detailed lace; and only when you look closer do you realize it's embroidered with skulls. There will be mystery, emotion, and strange and mystical women and places. I'm also going to be doing a lot of sculptural and mixed media pieces.

So now I need a goal - some way to share and present all of this work with people. My work is pretty much lowbrow pop fantasy art, so I need a place that caters to that audience. The Ayden Gallery immediately popped into my head. Admittedly I'm a bit intimidated about approaching them, as pretty much a nobody, and being all like 'hey, want to host a solo art show for me?' But I'm pretty brash like that, so we'll see what happens. (of course I would word it more politely, and show a professional portfolio of some sort). 

Welcome to my thought process, haha! Anyway, lots of exciting things coming, I'm sure. I just have to work hard, stay motivated, and feel inspired. 


  1. Way to go! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  2. Looking forward to see where your theme takes you!

  3. Sasha! First of all, thank you so much for honoring me in this post ^^ In the crazy art world we all follow the pressure is always there to create, and the demands always high - but finding the joy in it is always key! I am so happy you have found your inspiration again, and humbled that you include me as a part of it ^^

    A collection sounds like a wonderful idea!
    You dont even need to have it be part of a gallery to make it cohesive together. However, a member of my art collective, Redd Walitzki, recently posted her photograph at the Ayden Gallery:
    Shes recently just had a show there herself, shes on FB but I think her internet may be a bit dodgey at the moment. At any rate I definitely encourage you to send her a message and see what her thoughts are on the matter ^^

    No matter what, I hope its fun, therapeutic, inspirational, but also a really good tool for learning lessons. Cant wait to see your progress in the coming months :D!

    1. Aww Christina, thank YOU for helping me get my groove back haha! :)

      I definitely feel the pressure to create, but I'm actually feeling excited about it... like I'm the one pressuring myself. ^_^ I'll definitely think about talking to Redd, but I'm a bit intimidated, and don't want to seem like a weirdo. :P

      Thanks for your wonderful advice and support Christina! I wish I could give you a hug in real life, but an e-hug will have to do for now! ****huggggs**** :D

  4. Aw man I know what you mean... inspiration can be scared away easily by too much stress and not enough time to focus on what really matters! However, I am glad to hear you're back in the swing of things!! :) And I am very excited to see what you come up with! Don't put too much pressure on yourself... remember to enjoy the process and make sure you love what you're doing ;) Though I have no doubt of that for you! Good luck and keep me posted!

  5. Sasha, I enjoyed reading about your ideas and thoughts! I think a blog is a good way share your art and ideas. Besides showing other artists what you are working on it's also nice to have a journal, that shows what you have been doing. Christina sure is a great inspiration to us all! Now I can't wait to see what you will come up with, the lace sounds fantastic!

  6. I can't wait to see when you do a solo show... you will be amazing, you are so talented Sasha:)


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