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  • Bianca Vinther

The light you carry: overcome artist block and unlock your creativity in 2023

What does Christmas mean to you? And what is the source of your light?

Photography of yellow bokeh lights against a dark background.
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For me, Christmas is when I hear the five drumbeats and Jauchzet! Frohlocket! (Be joyful and rejoice!) in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, written for the Christmas season of 1734 in Leipzig, Germany.

For Emiliana, a seven-year-old girl in my daughter’s primary school, where I teach music and visual arts once a week, Christmas means seeing the joy in her younger brother’s eyes when he opens the last door of the common Advent calendar on 24 December. What could be more caring and unselfish than that by the way?

Whether in a cold, gloomy area or a sun-drenched spot on Planet Earth, Christmas is a feast of light. The light within us, the light we all carry in our hearts.

Nevertheless, finding the source of our light and of all good things that come with it, including inspiration and creativity in art, may be difficult, confusing, and even frustrating. Life has taught me helpful methods for tapping into my source of light and releasing it into the world. It also taught me how to access the root of my creativity and allow it to emerge rather than forcing it towards a measurable goal.

Here are a few seeds of wisdom I've picked up so far: how to set your light free, overcome artist block, and reignite your artistic creativity. In 5 easy steps to follow in 2023.

Rock balancing art describing a meditative mood.
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#Step 1: Create the right atmosphere.

Being an artist takes time, patience, passion, inspiration, and most importantly practice. Some of us need scent, and some music. But, above all, with artistic creativity should come a mood for making art, a tranquil spirit, and some sort of organisation.

First, establish a mood.

You can do this with candles, the ultimate being the scented ones. However, bringing in as much natural light as possible is, in my opinion, the best place to start. And don’t forget to light up your face consciously and deliberately, regardless of the difficulties you might currently experience in your personal or professional life. Regardless of the odds set against you or your health and dreams. Despite everything.

There’s a saying that goes like this: fake it until you make it. I tried it myself at some of the most difficult times in my life, and it actually lifted me up. Some practise it every day, like when they greet themselves every morning with: "Hey lovely! Nice to see you again!" Simple statements like this have tremendous power because they validate your brightness and awaken the dormant light within you.

Music may be a very useful tool, but it can also be a barrier or a source of distraction for you. Some musical genres may send you into a creative frenzy, while others might throw you off track. Isn't it impossible to operate with precision, as you might occasionally do, while dancing to the beat at the same time? Whenever you need music to make art, like I often do, I recommend classical, jazz, synthesised, or any other type of soothing, mood-enhancing-songs over distracting, time-delaying music.