I was in a situation where I felt something akin to art block or worse, anhedonia.
To give a breakdown before I begin rambling, art block or creative block is “a period of time when an artist cannot access their creativity and/or they cannot bring themselves to create a new piece of work.” (source)
The “inability or reduced ability to feel pleasure, enjoyment, and engagement with life” is anhedonia. (source)
What is the issue that leads me to believe I have art block or anhedonia?
I expected to tackle my next batch of 7 Huevember pieces back in early mid-November, almost the same as I did with the first batch. I suppose I was under the impression that drawing would smoothly happen. As if that was ever something that happened continuously for me. Note the sarcasm and bit of bitterness I feel.
Nothing went right no matter how many times I tried. Something in my mind did not translate on ‘paper’. I had the ideas. I didn’t have the execution down. That was possibly the most heartbreaking part of the situation. My mind was running a million miles forward, but I couldn’t follow through.
At the time my own ineptitude irritated me. Not only were the drawings not turning out, but my lack of skills to deliver was also equally frustrating to me. My expectations were getting the better of me.
I had to quit.
I ended up dropping everything except for the commission I’m currently still doing. Personal projects had to take a back seat (still are). As an artist, it was draining the little belief I still had in myself. The situation was unbearably suffocating for lack of flowery words.
It was as if I was standing in quicksand. The more I struggled, the further I and quicker I sunk.
At some point, I began to hate myself and my circumstances. I could even compare it to five years ago. Certainly quitting was the best thing I could do for myself. I had no intention of stopping forever, just for now. For today, I want to rest my loud mind.
A quiet rest from art block or anhedonia.
Even now I am still unsure as to what exactly made me stop— if it was simply from frustration or something more.
Apart from the job I am contracted to do, I haven’t drawn.
Now, I am not only frustrated but also afraid.