Arts & Culture

The Many Dilemmas of Creative Exhaustion

We’ve all felt the pressure to be productive and use up our time to be creative and artistic. We however put very little thought into the tiresome process behind the creativity and the artistic experience. It is exhausting but it is truly and utterly worth it.

To be creative is to choose, every single second of every single day, to actively take a conscious risk. Image Credits: Raelbrian on Flickr 

If there is one thing that we know concretely about the world we live in then it is undoubtedly the fact that it is a world of excesses. Every field, career, path, or even a specific school of thought is saturated to its brim, ever ready to gush out and prove to be irrelevant and redundant. There isn’t an idea in this world that hasn’t been explored or written about.

Life is Too Short to Stop Ourselves from Expressing Ideas Through Our Art

If one is lucky enough, epiphanies, however big or small, might form a substantial part of their daily routine. However, translating the said epiphanies into something meanwhile and worthy is an exercise embedded in both bravery and brevity. Life is too short to stop ourselves from expressing ideas through our art but too long to consistently engage with those ideas and constantly create and produce a body of work that you’re proud of. 

It is often within this dichotomous realm that we see artists, writers, dancers, singers, illustrators, designers, and any person who’s minutely resilient enough to engage with the creative process churning out literal extensions of their inner realms in the form of their art. The artistic process is inevitably interlaced with hours of labour and turmoil, that is when you’re lucky enough to arrive at a certain revelation and courageous enough to transform it into something you want everyone to witness and potentially critique. 

There is an undying and pervasive sense of restlessness that an artist and a creative person have to deal with. While a decent level of creativity might be innate to all of us, to truly create something eternal which satiates the aforementioned feeling of restlessness and be able to monetise it to a level of decent sustenance is an extremely difficult and underrated process. 

To Be Creative is to Choose, Every Single Second of Every Single Day, to Actively Take a Conscious Risk

To be creative is to expose yourself to an enormous heap of work that is far better than yours as you struggle to bridge the gap between skill, practice, taste, and talent. To be creative is essentially living with a dread of not being good enough to arrive at a certain rewarding destination first. To be creative is choosing to deal with your gnawing rational brain, inculcating the ability to separate the aesthetic joy from the societal need of its monetisation.

Most importantly, to be creative is to be vulnerable. Letting your guard down and welcoming people to venture into the innermost private realm of your mind, asking them to caress its pages and potentially colour them with judgement. Creativity is daunting and exhausting, but it’s also perhaps the most sublime experience that one can choose to engage with.  

The world that we live in is indeed saturated, but within the chaotic paraphernalia, creativity can help you carve out your niche. These days, everyone in their little ways is a creator of some sort. Instagram poets and writers, stylists, and designers have sprung up and are creating content that should not be missed. It has become relatively easier and convenient for artists to express and talk about the subtleties of their work. A rather comforting aspect of this exchange is when creators talk about their dealings with creative exhaustion, and the accompanying pressure to constantly come up with relevant content and art which corresponds with the current cultural landscape.

Vantagold on Instagram expresses her dilemmas in a very relatable manner, talking about the need to make political art. Her illustrations are simple, use bright colours and vivid strokes of pastels and brush, often giving us a glimpse of her simple yet meaningful existence. The ability to say so much within the liminal space of a constrictive medium is surely creativity at its peak.

Her illustrations are simple, use bright colours and vivid strokes of pastels and brush.

Storyseller Comics or Harshveer Jain on Instagram has an unusual and underappreciated quality to leave his readers with something exceedingly valuable with every comic he posts. With a witty sexual innuendo thrown in for comic relief coupled with his realistic and casual drawing style, one can understand complex problems and issues at hand with relative ease and humour. People like @storysellercomics and @vantagold have a unique talent to calm people down with their work. Just by being their true selves, through the medium of their art, we are made to feel comfortable as we forge a healthy relationship with their creative process. 

Comic relief coupled with his casual drawing style, one can understand complex issues at hand with relative ease and humour.

Artists Foster Enormous Amounts of Mental and Intellectual Strength As They Put a Huge Part of Their Personalities and Lives Online

They possess the ability to observe the unique hidden relation between two concepts and associate them to conjure something truly distinct leaving you with not only a visual sense of gratification but also unconsciously exposing you to a wider spectrum of art to explore and discover.

Think about the obsession that enlivens you when you read a new book or discover an underground band that hasn’t gone mainstream. You’re bound to addictively look up the writer or the lead guitarist and eventually watch youtube videos or stalk Instagram accounts of people sharing your obsession. 

This is a cycle that is bound to continue if you’re someone who lives in a state of daydreaming and imagination, a disposition that is truly distinguishing yet exhausting. 

@tabrezthird and @thelitarchives on Instagram are two accounts that juxtapose their love for art, literature, film, and music to draw a surreal archival story and encourage their viewers to engage with a larger intellectual experience. It is very easy to sit on our laps and succumb to the darkness of our mental caves. However, constantly putting pressure on ourselves to create more and engage with a higher philosophical conception of our existence can also lead to burnout. The key is to take short breaks and most importantly to observe.

The most intrinsic and valuable aspect of creativity is that it equips us with the capacity to sit back and observe the many nuances of life. After all, it is during the oddest of times, sitting at the bus stop or swinging idly at your local part that you get the most brilliant of ideas. For that, the best advice is always, to let your imagination run wild.

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Feature Image Credits: tabrezthird

Tara Kalra

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