How To Beat Creative Blocks With Fast Art

With all the different creative projects you begin, anyone looking in would see you as prolific, always bursting with new ideas and creating at full steam.

But how many of these projects do you actually see through to some kind of completion? A place where you can let them go, be proud of them, before moving on?

How many creative projects do you get half or three quarters of the way through before gradually getting slower and slower, like a rhino trying to charge through a lake of solidifying syrup?

Not all creative ventures will be finished, and that’s ok, that’s all part of the process. Sometimes the projects we start with high hopes don’t turn out anything like we expected them to.

Other times, ideas start out as very tiny seeds then slowly bud into something far more wonderful than we could have predicted.

But if you find you’re going over the same cycle of rushing with huge enthusiasm into something new, then as the end is in sight, spending what feels like forever trying make sure it’s just perfect to a fine degree, before finally abandoning it and starting something new with huge enthusiasm again, maybe that’s not so helpful to your creativity.

The more this happens, the more difficult it becomes to complete ANY project.

You end up with a towering stack of Works In Progress (WIPs) that seem to taunt you and chant what a failure you are because you never finish anything. Which in turn means you have less confidence to begin any more new ones.

So what we need is a way to see these projects through, and a technique to go through and experience each stage of the creative process, and build confidence and familiarity that we can do it.

Enter Fast Art.

image: colinjcampbell

Fast Art is a simple concept. Create something small in a set, short time frame, that gives you that practice of seeing a creative project through from start to finish.

Once you get comfortable doing that a few times, simply extend the time a little. Until, before long, you can apply this experience to every project and greatly reduced those imposing WIPs that fill your cupboards.

A great framework to begin with is picking a form to create in – say writing a poem, or sketching a drawing, or taking a few photos – then a theme or topic, then create for 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then 5 minutes.

So you have three mini projects at the end, each of the same media and theme. Then do it again with a different theme.

There are many benefits to this technique. First, as we’ve spoken of, you enjoy every stage of creating, from idea to completion, in a very short time. Also you don’t drown in those final stages of trying to make every last detail perfect. One because there aren’t many details to make perfect anyway, and two, you don’t have time to. When the timer stops, that’s it, your project is finished.

What you also find though as an additional benefit is you create from a different place. A more natural place.

If you imagine for a moment that there is a central core within you from which all creativity emanates. When you spend endless hours fine tuning projects, the pure creativity that came from your core gets reshaped, remoulded, distorted and diluted so much, that it usually loses nearly all of its original vitality, energy and charm.

When you create Fast Art, the creativity comes directly from that core source and doesn’t have time to be polluted by analysis and over thinking.

The more often you practice Fast Art, the more in touch with your creative core you become, so the quality of your ideas and creativity increases.

Don’t question what comes up, and often it may surprise you. Just trust, just run with it and create, for 1 minute, 2 minutes, then 5 minutes, and see how it changes the way you create.

If you’d like to share some of your Fast Art, and discuss the ideas further, pop over to our creative community CoachCreativeSpace. We have a Fast Art Group specifically for it. See you there.

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