Dear Allyson,

As someone who has been on a long artistic hiatus, I was wondering if you, Alex, or anyone you know, struggled with external influences ever dictating your creative flow. For example, as of recently, anytime I want to be creative, the external world is quick to tell me to stop. (Zoning into my work seems no longer possible. Distractions like sound pollution is enough to paralyze me creatively) This leaves me with an unhealthy relationship with my artistic side. Whereby I used to binge creatively when no-one was around, to now, where I don’t bother at all, screams fix me but I don’t know how! Not quite sure what’s going on here. But could it be possible that universe or that others are picking up on me having unidentified goals, prolonged states of indecision (often involved when I’m trying to figure out where my art is headed), factors for some reason why I internalize EVERYTHING.


Dear Weston,

Thank you for writing.

To find peace and quiet and make art:

— Start with total sound-blocking headphones OR a good headset feeding you the sounds you choose.
— Schedule your life for a single uninterrupted hour.
— Find a private corner or room where your materials can live. (I used to work on my bed with supplies under my bed.)
— Have materials ready — the ones that once pleased you or the ones you look forward to trying.
— Start drawing, painting, sculpting, collaging, etc. and continue for one hour or more.
— Repeat daily or as often as possible.
— Feel better.

The voice that is telling you to stop is your own. John Cage was a beat musician who created symphonies from street noise and daily life. Your mind, only yours, judges the quality of your circumstances. What is intolerable for you is a symphony to someone else. In his “Seven Laws of Spiritual Success,” Deepak Choprah suggests, “Give up your point of view.” The voice  and point of view telling you that “sound pollution is paralyzing you creatively” is your voice, your point of view. Replace unwanted

Discontent can be a force that evolves an artist toward the creative future. To be entirely content can mean being complacent. The drive to be a great artist may include a great deal of discontent. Embrace discontent.

Characteristics like unidentified goals and prolonged states of indecision are challenging and normal in transitional phases of life.
If negative emotions persist or overwhelm you, consider speaking with a psychotherapist or psychological counselor who can guide you on a healing path.