An affliction of capitalism

Two and a half years after starting The Lowly Esculent series, I have hit the longest lasting creative block I’ve ever experienced. Sometimes, I’m not even sure there’s much point in continuing down the artist’s path. Progress is slow and return can be little, making art require immense amounts of discipline, dedication, and patience.

Of course, I feel that way only sometimes.

When the work you do is so tightly interwoven into your identity, how can you stop? Take a break, maybe, but to leave it behind completely would be to lose a large piece of yourself. Even in this break, I feel lost.

Personality Typing has always turned me off. How could the complex, ever-changing human condition be reduced to such simplified explanations? However, I’ve come to see the benefits in personality typing. They help you understand your coworkers’ work types; They can offer assistance in articulating your personality to others in your life. They can also just be fun.

To use one of the most simplistic personality terms, I am Type A. My self-worth and satisfaction are inextricably linked to my productivity. I take pride in my work-ethic. I require constant validation to make sure I’m doing a good job. When I know I excel at my art or at work, it elevates all other aspects of my life.

I don’t bring these traits to every job I’ve had – the job (or boss) needs to deserve such energetic input. And I certainly know the importance of rest, self-care, and time off.

Many of my fellow young progressives see such personality traits as an affliction of capitalistic inculcation, that we have been corrupted by a money-hungry socialscape that places too much emphasis on work, output, and soul-selling. There are undoubtedly many people who have fallen prey to this. Yet, why have so many people come to see ambition and diligence as negative?

I wonder what is causing my creative block and my disinterest in painting. I’ll continue my break until the desire returns to me, which I’m sure it will. In the meantime, I’ll turn my energy towards other outlets and be grateful for my introspection and contemplation.

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