Episode 9: Creative Blocks — Doorways to Freedom

Sep 4, 2014

In this episode, Stewart Cubley discusses how to approach a creative block rather than push it away — and how creative blocks can become doorways to freedom.

An excerpt from Creative Blocks — Doorways to Freedom . . .

The topic of critical blocks is especially interesting in the context of process painting. The creative block brings you up against an essential choice that you make in yourself: It’s a choice between process and product. The creative block, as I experience it working with people and process painting, is something that arises when we’ve made the product more important than the process. The painting has become “a thing.” And having become a thing, it needs to exhibit its ‘thingness’ — it needs to get better, it needs to say something, it needs to go in a particular direction, it needs to be acceptable, and so on. The painting becomes an object and the object becomes the point of your endeavor. This leads discouragement, struggle, and conflict.

It’s important to realize how different it is when you approach the painting from the perspective of process rather than product. Creative blocks arise no matter what. You can’t skirt the fact that a creative block is going to show up, but if you’re painting from the point of view of process you can see the block in a very different light. It becomes a potential rather than an obstacle. The struggle becomes fruitful and it becomes a learning about oneself. It becomes a deepening experience, rather than something just to get over so you can get the product completed.

We often get discouraged by creative blocks, and we sometimes just want to throw in the towel and and give up. But if we look at a painting through the eyes of process, we recognize that the creative block is actually a knock on the door. It’s intelligent; it’s not just something there to bother you or to derail you. It’s something that holds tremendous potential for allowing you to let go of ideas about how the painting has to turn out. In other words, a creative block can be a portal to another level of freedom.

Listen to learn more!

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