How can we overcome creative blocks in our work?
How can we overcome creative blocks in our work? How can we get unstuck? That’s what we’re gonna be talking about today.
Now, have you ever had that experience of getting stuck in your creative work, were you feeling blocked in some way in a creative endeavor that you’re pursuing?
Something that could be quite useful when thinking about this is the differentiation between craft and art, they’re quite different things. But together, they combine in order to do our finest creative work. So let me give an example. In 1954, the jazz pianist Bill Evans, has been playing for a number of years, he was a professional pianist, by this point, actually very successful and what he was doing, but he just felt a little bit blocked in the creative work, he wasn’t really developing as a musician. So what he decided to do was to spend just over a year in his garage, stripping everything back, getting back down to basics, in order to help him find his voice as a player, and how to really break out some of the limitations are holding him back.
Craft And Artistry
You see, in any type of creative work that you do, we have these two things that are going side by side, there is the craft of what we do your skill. And then there’s the artistry or your ideas. Now, when things are going really well, those two things are in alignment, they’re kind of building together and allowing you to take your work to a new level. But what I often find is those who are experiencing some type of block in their work is because these things have got out of alignment. Let me give you an example. If you’re learning a musical instrument, for example, you may have fantastic ideas, great art, you know, in your heads, this kind of creative ideas, but you don’t have the craft, you don’t have the skills to execute on them. So you can feel frustrated because these ideas are in your head, but you just can’t play them on the instrument. Likewise, you can also flip weight, where you have really great technique in what you do, really great skills and what you do, but you just don’t have the ideas, you’re not seeing anything particularly new. So where we get that real powerful combination is when we can advance these things together so that they’re in alignment. And there they’re in sync synchronicity with each other. So craft, and art. So your technique, your skills are at the same level as your idea.
Now, they’re never going to be in perfect alignment. In fact, in an ideal world, you always want to have maybe the art and the ideas slightly further ahead than the craft because this is always trying to push you up to learn new things. And this is what Bill Evans did. He realized that in order to develop his voice, as a musician, he had to strip things back. So he went to solitude, he went into his garage for over a year. And he went back to basics, he stripped it all back. And this allowed him after that period of a year’s reflection and trying new things and going back to those basics, to develop his own voice, a distinct voice in his area of expertise.
Open For New Possibilities
So think about this for yourself. If you’re maybe stuck in the creative work you’re doing is it because your technique, your craft, has not developed and maybe you need to upskill in some ways. Or perhaps you have great skills, great technique. But your ideas have got a little bit lacks, they’re maybe a little bit dated in what you’re thinking. And you need to open your mind and think about new possibilities. And maybe now is a perfect time to go into that garage, mental or otherwise, to strip things back. To get back to basics, then understand what it means to do great creative work with your unique voice.
I hope you found that useful thinking about the difference between art and craft. Now there are two things I would love if you didn’t. First of all, if you’re watching this just now you’re not already subscribed to the channel, please click on that subscribe so you can get notified of all the new episodes for the Supercreativity TV show. Secondly, I would love it if you head over to my website, jamestaylor.me We’re gonna have all the show notes for everything I’ve described here. Plus, we have some creativity, free creativity training there for you. So whichever way you go, I really wish you the greatest success in your creative work. My name is James Taylor. Thanks for watching.