I had a severe case of artist block this week. It was different then past stints in my creative process though, it came on strong and I immediately knew I'd have to buckle down to get through it. I started getting self conscious about everything I was making. I felt like they didn't have enough purpose and that I needed to have more ideas behind what I was doing.
It all began when my Illustration professor, Ed, asked me to think about my purpose for creating art. To be honest, my immediate reaction was to get good enough to make money at it, but I knew that wasn't true. After a few days of not making any art the question had turned from "what my purpose for art is" to "what my meaning for life is." To say the least, it freaked me out. I continued to not make art because I didn't know what to make. It felt like the next painting would have to be the most meaningful, insightful, bright, dark, emotional, transcendent piece I had ever made. And it would tell my life story and somehow relate to everyone else.
After about a week I decided to find some more feedback. In a slightly manic state, I asked my painting professor, Jill, what she thought the purpose for art was. And also, what the meaning for life was. I know this sounds melodramatic, and I acknowledge that I was being entirely irrational. She led me to her office and handed me a book, 'Bird By Bird.' She explained that I should think of each painting as a way of asking a question about life, knowing that I'll probably never find the ultimate answer.
I need to learn to take it Bird by Bird, and in the mean time keep creating freaking artwork.