We are creative beings simply by existing.

As an artist, I’m sometimes overwhelmed by unproductiveness when creative inspiration is absent. My ingrained academia convinces me that I’m useless when creativity isn’t always flourishing — something that capitalism mirrors.

Capitalism stifles the creativity of artists. It engulfs individuals in a notion that productivity equals success, and that a lack thereof reflects poorly on a person’s worth. This mindset takes a toll on students, workers, artists, and practically anyone existing in today’s society. 

Living in a world that overvalues productivity at the expense of creativity is the root of these feelings. Academia emphasizes quantity over quality and neglects the need for students to sit still in their creative thoughts, something that I believe translates to art and my art specifically. 

I struggle with finding purpose in my art when I am bombarded with deadlines and criteria, and this is evident in the quality of my work. I find myself unmotivated to create because of this mindset that so heavily discourages pleasure in the creative process.

There is a dense, overwhelming feeling that I am less of an artist when I am not creating. I feel as though I can only be successful when I am producing.

I want to assure you that this feeling is universal, not singular. I am currently trying to unlearn these thoughts myself — specifically, this fear of laziness that eats away at the creative process. 

Laziness is something dreaded by everyone, artist or not, and this fear of stillness is damaging to our mindsets. Basking in your laziness and taking breaks from creative work is essential to the process.

It’s okay to rest and leave a project unfinished. I’ve gone months without touching a piece that I’ve started, and I am always reminded of these abandoned works during times of low creativity. 

It’s a vicious cycle because the feeling of finishing a project can be so rewarding, but can also feel impossible at times. The process to heal your relationship with your creativity starts with forgiving yourself.

Creating art is a pleasure within itself, and treating it as mere production will only deplete the artist. Creating art is a gift and the process of creation should only be regarded as one filled with rest, forgiveness and gratitude. Creative endeavors should be treated as the multi-layered ecosystem that they are. 

I think we need to approach creation as a limitless process that entails many emotions deserving of attention, but also ones that we need to let pass through. 

We need to let negative, uninspired, and dull emotions be felt but not dwelled on. 

Creativity ebbs and flows. As artists, and students, it’s important for us to find a balance between completion and forgiveness.