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Readers Respond: What do you think destroys, damages or interferes with your creativity the most?

Responses: 68


What in your life or environment do you think interferes with your creativity or creative energy? What stops you painting, or prevents you from producing the type of paintings you think you ought to be doing? Or from painting at all?


Criticism, especially destructive type, and even at times simple constructive criticism, can slightly deflate your ego and may want you to just throw up your hands in annoyance. I have been there and know it.
—Guest Odile Pereira


When I go to college for a crit day (assessment through the project) my teacher picks out everything bad and puts so many different faults in my head I just end up losing what I doing ...in the end I just don't want to work no more. I feel I cannot create work good enough. After a while I finally get the strength up to work again but I think the term creative criticism can also be way over used and can sometimes just give reason to be plain rude about an artists work.
—Guest Little Tip Toes

Creativity Downers

Being pulled to multiple ideas/projects. Overwhelmed as to which one to work on or maybe I should just go get a job.
—Guest ruben gutierrez


About the distraction of chores, when I was working for hours every day I rather enjoyed the defiance of refusing to do chores -- in order to make art. Then I got a job running an art commission (I had been teaching at an elementary school). The art commission job was the most lethal to my work, as it required many more hours, but also, after years of curating and hanging the work of other artists I began to care less and less about art in general. I always knew that it was a "commodity" that few people cared about but years of being exposed to this actually made me indifferent. I was better off when I could hunker down and avoid thinking about the world at all. When I taught art to children I felt as if I was doing something good for them, and by extension, the world, and I could live in this little bubble and make art because it was important to me.

Sick in the Gutter

It’s so hard to say that after school, I just ran out of things to say. Even though I feel like I have so much to say. Most of the work I did was given away to friends and my last series is still sitting in the back of my closet. Never sold a single painting but that wasn’t the purpose of their creation. Got really disappointed when my message didn’t reach the audience, the art world is a very elite place and I found the same people looking and criticizing my work every place I showed. Still love to paint as I’ve tried it a couple of times but I just can’t find motivation to do it. I have a 5 year old and a 13 year old and I don’t complain about lack of time, rather the purpose of action. I don’t plan to spend money and time to create something which has a future is in the back of my closet. Such a sickening feeling.
—Guest prone to disappear


I certainly have the desire to paint and have been on a couple of painting holidays so have enough reference to see me through but I also have so many canvases stacked around my studio I wonder what the benefit will be of producing yet another. When my children were little I felt constantly frustrated about lack of time to work. I wish I could have let it go at that time but I was fresh out of art school. The art school was all conceptual which made me feel my work was banal anyway. Now I have all the time in the world to paint but I am feeling old and tired. I love TV which is a killer. I wish I didn't care about selling, prizes or exhibiting so much. It puts on too much pressure. I like the person who wrote that they just give their works to people who appreciate them. That gets rid of the ego aspect of being an artist which may be the answer to artists block after all!
—Guest Susan Joy

Like Minds

I seem to use the 'but first' tactic. All excuses to delay putting that first mark on canvas. But once I do, I just get into 'The Zone'. Then I don't want to stop! It's a comfort to see so many of us artists have similar issues.
—Guest procrastination!


Most of the time I go about my business and do the things I have to do until painting becomes the distraction -- then I'm off!
—Guest christophermunz


The one thing that really does it are daily distractions: the phone rings, hubby needs something, errands to run, meals to cook. There is always something, and very little time to paint. Once I do start painting, there are almost constant interruptions. I go once-a-week to an open studio group, just so I can have some time for two or three hours, but that is not enough. It seems like I just have to make the time when and how I can. It can really be stifling.
—Guest Anne

Too Tidy

I am somehow convinced that I will paint better when everything around me is tidied up, organized, and the garden work is up to speed... I know it shouldn't matter, but I feel I don't want to be distracted by those other obligations when I paint. A "clean slate" as it were.
—Guest La La

My creativity

I paint because it pleases me, and it also relaxes me.... I love it. I used to paint as a kid, and teenager. Then we moved and all of my painting supplies got stolen. I didn't think to paint again as I had a baby, and then thirty years later, all of my three children are grown up and moved away. My Mother and Father both passed away and I picked up my paint brush and bought canvas and acrylic paints, and started painting once again. Now I am always wanting to paint. I would say that the only thing that destroys my time would be my lack of time, always busy with work...
—Guest Debbie

Can relate

In reading all the responses I am so relieved to know I am not alone. I received my art degree at age 67. Quite an accomplishment, but have I done anything with it, NO! I too seem to let other things and family take priority. Another thing is I also enjoy other creative outlets like dollmaking, crocheting, knitting, gardening and so I ask myself "why did I put so much effort into my art classes when I haven't done anything with it?" I take all kinds of pictures with the thought " that would make a beautiful painting!" but alas no painting gets done. Someday.

Art School

Art school has hindered my work ethic. I feel everything has to go together and I am being constantly asked "and what does this mean". Rather offputting.
—Guest Annie

Shake It Up...

I have been in a creative block in ways relating to doing mix media art work. Been idle for a while with no inspiring spark to play in the studio, but started to shake it up with playing an instrument. I bought a small thumb piano and it's resonance is so soothing and mediative. So trying another type of artful medium can be helpful. In the new year will be joining a drum circle. I am looking forward to shifting and shaking it up musically it seems and just allowing myself to go with this flow and se where it takes me~by shaking it up, trying something new. This can be any small step, to trying out a new receipe,making a random doodle journal to even taking a class that seems to resonate with you or invite friends over to do a craft product together! Remember to be gentle and nurturing to your self is so key too!
—Guest Darlene

Delay Tactics

I have just seen what problems there are with 'artist block' and actually starting something. I can relate to so many of the thoughts other artists have. I too use 'delay tactics' but once I start I can immerse myself in the work. Allowing myself the time needed is a problem. Thanks to everyone.Now I know its not just me!

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