An Artists Relationship With Their Art

Clogged Creativity: An Artist’s Relationship With Their Art – #6

Sometimes it can be hard to admit, but when we’re stressed, have a ton of crap on our minds and/or our emotions are out of whack, we are just not very creative. And try as we might, as much as we know getting into some kind of creativity will help us feel better, its just super difficult to be that creative person we know is deep inside us.

On the other hand, being in a certain types of mental or emotional states may spur on creativity! Depression may have a bolstering effect to everything you create. It may even spur some creativity you didn’t know you had in you.

I am bipolar, and in the past have been in both these predicaments in a cyclical nature. The times when I am too emotionally and mentally stressed to create anything and those times when I am on the cusp of severe depression or climbing higher into a mania. Interestingly the times when I have been depressed or manic are very creative times for me. However, once I’ve passed what I call “the point of no return,” the emotions take total control and I can’t achieve anything creative or otherwise. But those times when I was almost touching “the point of no return” I was immensely creative and produced a lot of interesting pieces.

(I have been very stable emotionally and mentally since moving to Ohio, and during the last year I have not been past “the point of no return,” thankfully, because it’s just not a good place to be in. I have learned many techniques to handle my lengthy and severe mood swings that go along with having bipolar, I’ll write more about that in future posts.)

I wonder if other artists have any difficulty with creativity or surges of creativity when dealing with mental or emotional stress.

I would love to hear your answer to the question “Do you find that your mental or emotional state directly affects your ability to create art?” Post your answer in the comments below.

Do you find that your mental or emotional state directly affects your ability to create art?

Vas Littlecrow: Yes.  Since art is a reflection of how I live, it’s almost impossible for it not to be affected by my mental or emotional state. –


Delisa Carnegie: A little. It isn’t whether I can or can make something, but what I will make and how it will turn out. I do find I that being in a certain mood helps with poetry though, like it should be sad and full of heart break and longing. Lol. –


Charlene Slimp: My mental state absolutely affects my ability to create art. There’s this whole huge spectrum of emotional states and ways of being and that’s reflected in the art that I create. But sometimes, when I get into those really bad depressions or am just drained of all my energy, I can’t create. I don’t even want to. The whole idea of creating art just makes me sadder. When I’m in a good place, I have so many ideas and concepts that there’s no way I could remember them all or even try to write them down. I have pages and pages of ideas that I can still work through if I am somehow uninspired (which hasn’t happened yet.) –


Kesha Bruce: I’m passed the point in my art making process where I allow my mental state to dictate the type of work I make or when I make it.  I have deadlines.  I can’t wait around for inspiration or for the right mood to present itself.  I get in the studio and get to work.  I take full responsibility of my own mental state. –


Abigail Markov: Yes. The more intensely I feel, the more I like the work I create. My ability to surrender thought and control and trust my own instincts and reactions while painting contributes as well, though it also depends on the kind of work I am doing. I tend to tailor what I work on to what I am feeling.

Have there been times when I was in a state of mind where I felt that I couldn’t create? Yes. Intense grief, exhaustion, and apathy make it harder to get out there and work. Some of the periods of depression I deal with as part of my biochemistry are harder to create during, as well. However, I’ve found consistently that the most effective way to deal with those periods, with the exception of exhaustion, is to work. (For exhaustion, it’s just to get a lot of sleep.) –


Tori Deaux: It does… my best work actually comes from being able to sink into my deepest, darkest emotions.  When I’m staying out of those places, the depth isn’t there.  And if I’m too caught up in anxiety or fears of judgment or exposure, I can’t work in that depth, either.   There’s a very narrow “sweet spot” where my best results come from, and honestly? It’s very difficult to maintain, which is why I haven’t been working in that way recently.  I need a certain amount of emotional safety in order to go into those places and come out again, sanely. –

I would love to hear your answer to the question “Do you find that your mental or emotional state directly affects your ability to create art?” Post your answer in the comments below.

Don’t miss out, there’s more coming up! Join us next week as we delve deeper into our relationships with our art!

Next weeks topic: “Creatively Dealing With Stress” Sign up to receive free updates.

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