What is the number one enemy of creativity? There are many enemies in the battle to create: good sense, fear, comparison, resistance… The enemy that matters the most is the one you fight in your studio.
The enemies of creativity
What is the number one battle against creativity? What do you fight every day as you walk into your studio? Is there someone in your life that prevents you from creating?
As I type this article, Harper, my cat, is sitting in my lap. She doesn’t prevent me from writing, she helps me sit in my chair and type because I don’t want to disturb her.
Before I sit down, I fight the battle of a sink full of dirty dishes, other projects that scream, “Finish me first.”
The enemy: good sense
Pablo Picasso said, “The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.”Good sense is defined by Miriam-Webster: sound judgment often instinctive or unlearned. He had the good sense to save his money.“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” ― Pablo Picasso Click To Tweet
Good sense as in practical. As in art must be useful.
The enemy: fear
Are you scared someone might not like what you create? Do you fear the one-star review? My cat, Pooh Hodges, before his untimely death on April 1, 2015, interviewed Steven Pressfield for The Write Practice, about his book, Do The Work. Pooh asked Mr. Pressfield how he handles the fear of shipping.
On Amazon Do The Work has 512 reviews, of these, 332 are five-star reviews and 29 are one star reviews. How do you fight the fear of shipping when not everyone gets your message? I would rather cough up a hairball than get a negative review.
A professional writer (or actor or director or athlete) does not read reviews. I don’t give a damn what anybody thinks of me. Hemingway himself once said you can’t read reviews because “if you believe them when they tell you-you’re great, you have to believe them when they tell you-you’re a bum.”It is the work that matters, not what other people think of your creation. Click To Tweet
The enemy: comparison
Comparing your work to someone else is an enemy of creativity if you find your work lacking, and you stop creating.
There is more than one way to paint a coffee cup: realistically, or abstractly. A painting might be so realistic it looks like a photograph of the cup, and not a painting. Or the painting might be so large, and made out of plywood, it might just resemble the cup.
Art doesn’t just imitate life, it exaggerates and transforms life.
The coffee mug is painted on 3/4 inch plywood, it is 43 x 44 inches, painted with acyrlic paint. Instead of painting a coffee mug on stretched canvas I wanted to paint the actual shape.
The enemy: resistance
Steven Pressfield states in his book, The War of Art:“Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. resistance is the enemy within.”
The enemy within, when I painted the coffee mugs, kept saying, “Why are you even bothering? Realistic painting is the only painting that really is any good. Why are you even bothering? What a waste of good plywood.”
Fight the enemy; do the work; create
I fought the enemy and finished painting the coffee mugs. I paint in layers and scrape off paint to reveal the color underneath. My hands were covered in paint, and I used my fingers to create the bubbles in the coffee. Feeling the paint, and creating what I see.
The enemy that matters the most is the one you fight in your studio. What is your enemy? How do you fight it? Please share in the comments to help other creatives fight the enemy and win. Click here to comment. HERE