Artists often struggle to practice their art. Numerous blocks and barriers get in our way:
- Not enough time due to other responsibilities, such as work and family
- Not enough motivation
- Lack of skills to create what we have in mind
- Lack of clear vision
- Lack of ideas
- Too many ideas and trying to narrow down what we want to do
- Lack of self confidence
- Lack of encouragement or validation from self and others
- Hurtful and/or unhelpful comments and critiques from others
- Prioritizing other things ahead of our creative practice
- Health issues
- Negative energy in our space
- No space to create
- Nothing to say
- A thousand other things…
Most of these barriers are self-inflicted. It seems that one of the “struggles” of artists is to constantly battle these barriers to our artistic practice. Sometimes we keep them at bay for a period of time and other times they pile up on us.
Now, during the covid-19 pandemic and the countless other negative news stories that we hear every day, these challenges seem even greater. There are fewer physical venues to show art, and artists’ and writers’ groups are limited to virtual meetings. Contact with other artists is so important to keep up motivation and to keep up with what’s going on in the art world.
It is especially difficult to motivate oneself to create when our basic needs are not being met. If one has lost income, has no place to live, feels unsafe, or has health issues, then survival becomes the main focus. For some, these survival issues are obvious physical barriers; for some, the survival issues have manifested more as mental health side effects of the pandemic. No matter how one is experiencing covid-19 survival, the barriers are real and significant. Survival of the pandemic is the first step to overcoming the barriers to creating and real action.
During these challenging times, it might seem frivolous to focus on art, but art plays an important role in our world. Art influences opinions, makes statements, provides pleasure to both artists and appreciators, calls attention to important issues, and records history. Now, in such a historical and troublesome time, art is ever more important. So, at a time when there are more barriers to making and showing art, there is also a greater need to create it.
© Dr. Carla Weaver