“Blank Page Syndrome”

Every artist suffers with it at one point. Either in brand new sketch books, a fresh canvas, a lovely notebook, or on any medium you use.

I often find books I’ve never used, because they’re just “too pretty”, the paper is just “too good” to do my pathetic little doodles. The books just feel so clean and new, and exciting, they do inspire you to do work, but then you open the book… and stare at the page.

You just helplessly stare. Unable to begin, you pen shaking in your hand, then you slam the book shut, put it in a door and give up. This might not be forever, might only be a few minutes, but it can also be YEARS. I’ve found books I’ve brought in high school, I’m now taking a year from university for my pregnancy. That’s ridiculous!

Even with books I’ve brought recently, I’m still doing the same thing. Sometimes just the cover is daunting, still all wrapped in plastic. Still all shiny and new, and I can’t bring myself to get into the pages and really do some work.

This is a problem I’ve found other people struggle with, and have different tactics to get around it. One artist that visited my university one day said he scribbled or splashed paint aimlessly on his canvas’, swirling in swear words, genitalia, anything to make the page not blank anymore. Then he’d thickly cover the canvas in whatever he really wanted to paint to hide the profanity so he could get some work done. I wish I could remember his name, as he was a very amusing person, just seemed to generally laugh at life. But I do remember one comment he made, saying “If anyone did one of those layer scans on my canvas’, they’d have a good giggle at my penis’ with hats underneath a very serious art piece”, and I happen to agree, they would have a good giggle.

I did try this technique, and with paint, yes, it does work (not watercolour, more acrylic or oil), but when you work in pencil or pen, it doesn’t always…. And you’re left with something you didn’t really want to make.

So how would you deal with it? What would you suggest? Do you deal with this problem, or does working on blank surfaces come rather naturally to you?

Advertisements

Honor Your Process — Carve & Draw

I found this more than true for myself also. We all need to value our artistic process and understand that it’s all apart of the progress we’ll make over the years. It’s a good read, and something I might be keeping as a sense of motivation when I feel ‘stuck’.

Ever caught yourself repeatedly doing something but never really knowing why or lacking in some sort of verbal framework to explain it? I have. Earlier today I had a moment where I questioned something I find myself repeatedly doing without understanding exactly why I keep doing it. As I’m nearing the finish of my current […]

via Honor Your Process — Carve & Draw

Finding Yourself V.S Creating Yourself — Jay Colby

Colby’s interesting view on this subject has actually been very clarifying for me. It’s difficult when you feel lost and confused with life, where you’re going, and how the hell you’re going to get there. Do you find yourself,or create yourself? A mixture of both?
It’s all up to you, and your opinion really. It’s certainly an interesting concept to talk about.

For many years the concept of finding yourself versus creating yourself has been a topic of discussion. This concept comes from a famous quote by author George Bernard Shaw “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating you”. Finding Yourself Many times when the topic of finding yourself is usually referenced to a “young […]

via Finding Yourself V.S Creating Yourself — Jay Colby

 

You Can’t Have Your ‘Cake’ And Eat It Too

A new daily prompt via Daily Prompt: Cake

This saying has been around for a long time, often used among the older population, but is still very well known. However, do we actually know what it means? I’ve found over time, lots of saying have been twisted, changed, or even cropped to change it’s context entirely.

The proverb literally means “you cannot simultaneously retain your cake and eat it”. Once the cake is eaten, it is gone. It can be used to say that one cannot or should not have or want more than one deserves or can handle, or that one cannot or should not try to have two incompatible things. The proverb’s meaning is similar to the phrases “you can’t have it both ways” and “you can’t have the best of both worlds.”

Many people misunderstand the meanings of “have” and “eat” as used here but still understand the proverb in its entirety and intent and use it in this form. Some people feel this form of the proverb is incorrect and illogical and instead prefer “you can’t eat your cake and have it (too)”, which is in fact closer to the original form of the proverb but uncommon today. Other rare variants use “keep” instead of “have”. -Wikipedia

Now, all of that might seem confusing, I know, I’m confused too. My interpretation of the old saying is this; That all ‘good’ things, have a consequence. You can’t have these without the consequences that come along with it, and wanting it any other way is just illogical.

Examples I’ve heard in my life are very broad. Everything from cheating on your partner, to actually eating cake.”You can’t have a mistress/mister and a good relationship with your wife/husband” or something along those lines.

What’s your interpretation of it? What examples have you got of the saying?

The Illusion of Productivity

For many children, teenagers, and even young adults, it’s time to go back to school. Projects beckon and buying new materials, equipment and clothes are essential. Growing up quite a creative soul, I became rather obsessed with stationary.

Pencils, pens, sketchbooks…Oh so many sketch books, Notebooks. The constant need to feel like I am fully prepared for whatever education demands. I often found myself trawling around shops just art equipment, and would do this more than once a week, and spend far too much.

The only conclusion I’ve found for this is, the illusion of productivity. The idea of going out, tuckering myself out physically, and feeling mentally accomplished by buying stationary in it’s masses. I also found, I’m not the only one that did/does this. It’s a common problem. Well… No problem for the companies that profit from our spending.

This idea that we’re somehow doing something towards our work ethic or contributing to lowering our work load by getting the things we need (Or may just WANT) to get the job done is enough to sit down with a cup of tea and relax for the rest of the day because we’ve done ‘something’, is actually a form of procrastination.

We all know we procrastinate, even on a small scale. Whether it’s a few hours, or weeks, or even months. My worst experience of dealing with this was when I was in my 1st year of university. You often have 3 months to do 2 projects. I found that in those 3 months, I would go to the shop and buy equipment… Then wonder around other shops buying things for myself, get back to my room, nap, and nothing would get done until it hit me that we only had a few weeks left until the dead line. I understand that the grades don’t count towards the final degree, however I do wish I could do things very differently.

Now I’m on a break from university, I’m restless. I find myself looking for things to do, setting myself mini projects to do. And the illusion of productivity returns when I buy things I want for these projects. More sketchbooks, more pens, and more mechanical pencils. It’s a hard habit to crack, and when the “Back To School” sales are on, it becomes very difficult to keep One’s money in One’s pocket. That might be my own problem with self-restraint and control, but sh….

What’s your illusion of productivity?