Drawing In The Dark – A Ramble

(Recycling is good for the environment... and for this blog)

Even though this is an article about artistic inspiration, I’m probably going to have to start with what might be a mildly depressing ramble about something annoying that happened to me a couple of months ago.

Although they’ve long since been repaired, I had a problem with the lights in my room a couple of months ago. One of the most annoying things about this was that – being somewhat nocturnal – it meant that I couldn’t really make any art at night.

Don’t get me wrong, I could sort of manage to make fairly basic drawings if I used a torch (and this is why some of the sketches for the past few articles have been kind of crappy). But, painting in the dark was nigh on impossible.

What this meant was that I had a fairly limited amount of time to make my daily paintings (eg: during daylight) and this had a rather strange effect on how inspired I felt. I’d originally thought that this would have made me more inspired- since I only had a limited amount of time to make paintings, so I had to make it count. But, surprisingly, it had the opposite effect.

Because I had such a limited amount of time and such high expectations about what I should achieve in that time, I felt almost completely blocked. If you only have a couple of hours to make a painting and you feel that it has to be magnificent, then that’s a lot of pressure.

And, whilst a small amount of pressure can be a good thing (eg: setting a daily deadline), too much tends to make me feel overwhelmed and overloaded. I’m not really a high-stress kind of person.

So, the quality my art suffered slightly as a result. I was able to mask this on some days by making slightly lazier types of art (eg: still life paintings, a painting based on an old photo my parents took etc…), but the fact remained that this one little thing had a huge effect on my creatiivity.

And, well, this made me think about inspiration and creativity in general. Whilst having some problems with the lights in my room made me feel uninspired, I’ve also felt uninspired during times where everything is going perfectly (eg: in the days after my lights were repaired). As the old saying goes, inspiration is a fickle thing.

But, I guess that the true test of a writer or artist is whether they’re still able to make stuff when they aren’t feeling inspired.

Inspiration can be a random and strange thing and if you only create things when you’re feeling inspired, then you’re leaving everything to random chance.

So, it’s always a good idea to keep creating stuff even when you aren’t feeling inspired. Yes, you might not create something great when you aren’t feeling inspired- but you will at least feel like you are in control of your own work.

——

Sorry for such a short and rambling article, but I hope it was interesting 🙂

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