Boredom

I am truly thankful for boredom. I know that may sound weird but it’s true. Unfortunately it gets a bad rap. Culturally we’ll do almost anything to avoid it and we often treat it like it’s some sort of disease that needs to be cured. But I think boredom is nothing to be afraid of or avoided. Actually it’s a very important part of my artistic process. You see, for me, inspiration, imagination and creativity are the sparks that get my artistic energy flowing but it’s boredom that often fuels my work. 

My creative ideas are infinite. I can always think up something of interest to create so I’m never short of ideas, it’s getting around to sitting down and actually creating that’s the problem. And in this day and age that can be a difficult task. We have so many things that we can busy ourselves with that we can easily mistaken busyness for productivity without ever realizing that we’re not being productive at all. It reminds me of something I once read in regards to writers back when I was taking a creative writing class. There are two kinds of writers, the first is the kind of writer who reads writing books, joins writing groups, does writing exercises, goes to writing seminars and takes writing courses. The second kind of writer just sits down and writes. One writer is caught up in what I call “busy work”, the other is being productive. Sometimes busy work can lead to something productive but a lot of times it just creates the illusion of productivity. This can easily apply to artists as well so I often think about it to keep myself in line. It’s easy to get wrapped up in cruising the art supply store, buying new pens, sketchbooks and paper. I could easily spend time thumbing through art magazines, keeping tabs on other artists who inspire me and chit chatting with other artists and followers on social media. Now this isn’t to say that doing any of this is bad, it all has its part, it’s just that to be a productive artist I need to sit down and create art. That’s just the reality of it all. I can have the best art supplies, have a lot of artist connections and be surrounded with amazing artistic inspiration but it doesn’t count for doing the work and doing it well. There is no way around it. And for me to get to that point I personally need to get bored. It’s only when I’m face to face with boredom that I have no other choice but to sit down and do the work. It’s there in the stillness and silence of boredom that I am forced to be creative. I can no longer do the dance of avoidance. Without anything else to tantalize my senses or stimulate my mind, I pick up my pen and draw. 

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