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

Responses: 79


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?

Creative block

Fear!!!!! Especially of failure of my own expectations!!!
—Guest Margaret wilson

Waiting for the right "moment"

Whenever I want to start a painting, I always try perfecting the images in my head, which makes me slow to start my painting and procrastinate it until I have the right "lightbulb".
—Guest Amanda


What was I waiting for? Why was I procrastinating? Everything was in order. The canvases and paints were waiting while I too was waiting for some elusive "perfect" moment." After going back and forth in my mind, I arrived at the conclusion that there is no perfect moment. It is just another moment that provides an opportunity to express ourselves.

I never realized

Hats off to guest Lizzie. I too lost every art thing I had in a house fire and when I think about it that is when my desire to create dried up. I have tried many things but working with this one idea should produce art more plentiful.
—Guest e. Beamer

Being Intimidated by the White Paper

I know it sounds silly, but its true. I am intimidated by the blank piece of white paper. I try everything, but just can't seem to draw. I'm to scared. I try and try but only line paper seems to work. I don't know what to do. Everything I try is always a complete fail. And even line paper makes it hard to draw sometimes. I have no idea what to do. Maybe I should give up. But I don't know. Maybe I need to take a break, but I haven't drawn in months. I should force myself to draw. Or create an inspiration page.
—Guest cloudy skys

Fear Of drawing Again

I am a left handed artist. In the past years I have had four surgeries on my left hand and two on my right.I guess I'm more worried about failure and trying to do a good job. I find my hands shaking a little more and I really want to regain the ability again. I feel a deep need now to become the artist that I once was. I just need to break that fear.

Fear of both success and failure

There are days when I am terrified to pick up a brush, I dislike failure, moreover I think I am more fearful of success. With success comes a certain amount of a need to top prior work. I am currently working with a mentor, just her presence is comforting, even if her critiques and suggestions differ from what my mind thinks.

Working a full time job.

Working full time in a retail store not only leaves you too tired to create, it crushes your very creative soul. The End.
—Guest Alfred Dill

Change of Course

Many things already mentioned make me doubt why I am doing this with my time and does it have any value beyond the good feeling I get while creating. I think the commercial aspect can frustrate the ideal of it. I like planning shows in curating but always the ego worries of the other artists sap my good energy. In turn I emotionally drain others like my teacher. I think artists whether student or teacher identify emotionally thought their work and seek intense peak connections with people similar to the intense focus involved in creating. With all this energy one needs to feel it has a significance and if the only significance lies in what the ego gets, disappointment, doubt and doom await. I don't know how to avoid the highs and lows. But lately through meditation I have been working on releasing attachment, this may apply to everything. To ideas you learn about how to paint, feelings you have about people's reactions, the desire for recognition. In fact after recognition I soon feel worse.
—Guest LC

Saving the country, not myself

In highschool, art class was my time to free myself from problems at home, work, or school. One hour a day of focus and intensity. Ever since I joined the marine corps about a year and a half ago I haven't felt the motivation or the patience, bUt have definitely not lost my desire to draw. I feel like the inspiration has left me blank.
—Guest Anistashia

Spreading Myself Too Thinly

When I first began selling my art I got overly enthusiastic and took on too many commissions. I missed a lot of my deadlines and was disappointed in myself. I felt guilty and embarrassed and this put me off for a long time. I learned two things: 1) Do the work that inspires you, not just commissions. 2) Don't bite off more than you can chew - if possible try to stick to one painting, or a handful of paintings, at a time. I try to finish my paintings in one sitting now, or over a series of days.
—Guest Kay


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.

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