Social Affectation

Recognizing Detriments to the Creative Thought Process

Throughout life, artists learn to understand their personal creative ebb and flow.  At certain times, inspiration seems superficial or even reluctant.  It is from these less than prolific stints that creative persons learn to covet inspiration that feels novel or exceptionally moving. 

There are many reasons why creativity might have evasive tendencies but not all are easily discernible.  A less obvious factor in artistic blocks focuses on social affectation.  Ultimately, due to certain aspects of social structures and interpersonal expectations, the mind is conditioned to feel uncomfortable exploring new or unusual concepts.  Certain instances create a paradigm for what teaches the mind to anticipate and feel vulnerable to discouraging scrutiny. 

Of course, the logical recourse would be to disregard any unreasonable criticism.  However, this insecurity may be more subliminally ingrained than one would hope, making indifference easier said than done.  While it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate these social constraints on innovation, it is my belief that recognizing and understanding these obstacles will result in less trivial inspiration.       

The most prevalent example of detrimental social structures is an oppressive work environment.  Most artistic people are required to obtain at least supplemental employment to maintain a livable income, and unfortunately, it is rare for creative persons to find employment relevant to their skill set with an artistically open environment. Even in art based companies, social formalities and politics stifle “flowery” minds, standardizing the process in which people develop concepts.

Almost every institution follows a tacit set of social expectations to which employees and patrons are obligated to subscribe. Imagine the effect these mental restrictions, applied on a regular basis, would have on an individual’s thought process; from tamping ideas and filtering suggestions, these instances condition the brain to remain on a safe and complaisant track. Naturally, this constraint inhibits the development of pure innovation.

A hopefully obvious conclusion is that when removed from these social constraints, a creative mind eventually becomes comfortable accessing a deeper, potentially untapped source of inspiration.  Recognizing and understanding this social repression will allow one to access a greater creative potential.

In Practice. 

Attempt to reach a more unbridled thought process by eliminating all social complexes.  The subject removes himself/herself from social institutions, obligatory schedules and interpersonal responsibilities.  The subject will be allowed the time necessary for his/her brain to acclimate to the new mental environment, punctuating “social purges” with “creative sprints.”


The Agenda:

  • Spending an extended period of time in solitude including eliminating any and all connection to persons, civilization and modern technologies.
  • Fasting for a period of time (at least 24 hrs) to help eliminate any physical effects modern foods might have on brain activity in hopes of inducing a sharper thought process.  Exercise and holistic supplements such as ginseng, ginger, etc. could potentially increase brain activity.
  • Researching only books and information related to inspiration concept.
  • Sketching/writing for the duration of the experiment.