Every now and then, I find myself falling into slumps.
Some are deeper than others, and recently, I feel as though I’ve slipped into one that’s soaking up all my creative energy. I think time has a lot to do with it, and right now, I’ve been having difficulty striking the right balance between the creative and analytical sides of my job. I enjoy both facets, but creating is what fuels me. If I step away for too long, that’s when I start to lose inspiration and motivation.
Today was the first day in a while where I got to spend the majority of the workday in my element: Sorting through photos that I’ve taken over the past couple months, choosing my favorites, and adding in some edits here and there. With the right music and a good setting, I could edit for hours. There’s nothing I love more about my job, and it’s truly such a treat that I get to call this work.
There’s this thing though… this thing that holds me back when I’ve been away from my canvas for too long. I’ll get back to the drawing board, and not really know where to begin. With my edits, I’ll go through phases depending on the type of photos I’ve been taking and where I’m at in my life. If I’m producing images everyday, I get into a groove where I’m constantly inspired, and constantly wanting to create more. But when one of these creative slumps comes along, it’s like I lose all vision of what I’m trying to produce. I’ve caught myself stuck on the same image for half the day, never really hitting the target on what I want it to look like. I’ll keep going back to try something different, but then it just gets to the point where I’m overthinking it. Overthinking…
That’s exactly what this “thing” is. It’s my own perspective, my own head, my own critiques… its simply me. I’m sure you’ ve heard the saying “You’re your own worst critic.” But why? Why are we so hard on ourselves?
It’s all about confidence. This is what I keep telling myself. I need to believe that what I’m producing looks good. But then again, what makes something good? That’s just it though. In art, there’s no such thing as good or bad. It’s about how you look at something, and what you take away from it. More importantly, it’s that the artist is happy with their work.
When I’m feeling discouraged, I take a step back and look at what I’m creating, but I look at the bigger picture. When I start focusing too much on the little details, that’s when I overthink. The producer (more often than not) is going to view their work in a different way than the looker. As I work my way out of this slump, I’m trying to be less self-critical and more confident in my vision. If what I’m doing is making me happy, that’s all that really matters. And if it’s helping to inspire others, that’s cool too ;)
+Why do you think we’re our own worst critics? How do you get past creative slumps?
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