How to Escape a Creative Block

Letters of Note Shaun UsherI’ve talked before about the importance of just getting on with your art, forcing yourself to work when you need to escape a creative block and using little tricks to help you do so. I definitely believe in the power of pushing through your creative block but, let’s face it, it’s often something that’s much easier said than done. Last night, whilst at dinner with my friend Richard, I was reminded of something that I read in a book that he bought me for Christmas. The book, Letters of Note compiled by Shaun Usher, contains over a hundred wonderful letters and is based on the website also called Letters of Note – well worth a look if you’re in need of inspiration from some truly great people. “DO” is written by artist Sol Lewitt to his friend and fellow artist Eva Hesse when she was struggling in the midst of a creative block. Tragically, Eva Hesse died at the age of 34 from a brain tumor, highlighting even more the importance of seizing the moment and doing things NOW. Here’s a passage from the letter which can’t help but inspire action!

“You belong in the most secret part of you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear & anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as ‘to decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistent approach to even some impossible end or even an imagined end.’ You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to…DO. I have much confidence in you even though you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT.”

                                                                                          – Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse


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