Discovering Art in Times of Chaos

Being a part of a generation so accustomed to dealing with their stress and anxiety by transforming it into some of the most extraordinary work the decade has seen, creativity blocks can be a major inconvenience, mainly because the feeling of ‘being unproductive’ sets in when you’ve been cooped up inside your room for so long. It may get extremely hard to keep your creative juices flowing, especially in a stressful environment. Creativity blocks are becoming a norm in the current times. Be it visualising ideas for your next sketch, or having trouble finding a muse for your next verse, we all struggle to retain our sanity amidst a crisis, by turning to what we know best, art. 

Creativity blocks can be extremely frustrating, especially at a time when all you wish to do is express your thoughts and emotions with the medium most familiar to you. Imagine having an idea you just cannot seem to work on, specifically a piece you are so attached to already. This is where art comes in; entertainment and distraction in its purest form. Personally, art for me is just drinking coffee with my playlist on blast or watching someone perform poetry, words of others giving me clarity as to how I feel, or just to relax. Distractions become important for a fresh perspective to come in, to break the monotonous pattern of visualising an idea and attempting to bring it to life and not being able to do so, hence going back to thinking about. Everyone has their own choice of distractions and the meaning they attach to the work that they relate to; making art the most versatile, inclusive yet personal abstract concept to exist, more so in chaos.

In a time of chaos, discovering the art in you can become an objective task for many, so then we turn to the next best thing, other artists. The need to highlight this becomes imperative, as, in a world dominated by the concept of placing art and artists as secondary, one must remember that in times of crisis, it was the artists that saved us. This might seem like an exaggeration, but a mere act of introspection tells us precisely how dependent we are on artists. From the songs you blast while cooking breakfast to the films you watch to kill time, words to keep your mind animated and even the social media you use at every minute of the day at all points, is a product of someone’s art. 

The work of others can be our best source of inspiration, or be our escape when the chaos starts to take control of our mental health, making it significant to acknowledge art in all its forms. Be it home concerts by musicians everywhere, or the online classes top-tier chefs might be taking, the virtual performance of a poet or the release of a new set of movies and shows by Netflix; each curated by artists across the globe, only for us to have something to turn to, when needed.

Stability of mental health, a concept easily confused with our capacity to create, then forms a dependency on our ability to keep going and producing as much as possible. The sheer thought of not doing anything less than our best, being so terrifying, that it may drive one over the edge. The urge to compare our work to another also comes into play, however, the beauty of recognising art in its pure essence makes the process easier; the desire to be the best replaced by the genuine admiration of the piece. Most welcome this as an act of distraction, an alternative to putting pressure on oneself, and merely appreciating all that is available and taking advantage of the same.

Distractions are known to be widely popular with our generation, anything to take our minds off reality. Finding solace in the work of others, work one can highly relate to and associate with, creates attachment to the art; resonating with us and our ideals. The perception that art is leisure, then, becomes redundant as a pattern of incorporating it in our daily lives takes priority. So much so, to say that art is one of the most significant aspects of our lives; keeping in mind the diversity of perspectives and array of representation it brings, will not be completely wrong.

The best cure for a creativity block, in a pandemic and otherwise, might just be to let go, attempt to relax and focus on other art, or would be to indulge in acquiring new skills, trying out a new hobby; that is up to you. A fresh outlook on your own piece may work wonders, although just a distraction in such times, is also more than welcome. But to recognise the relevance of art in daily life gives us some satisfaction; an assurance that ‘being productive’ through tangible norms is a façade of a crumbling social order, and that being productive, can be rather full of passion; can be finding art in chaos.