Quartz: The key to creative productivity: Embrace anxiety:
Work through it
The many joyous layers in Milhazes’ collages, prints, paintings, and sculptures obscure a terror familiar to anyone in the creative field: that of the blank page.
The key to working through it, said the artist, is just that: keep working.
“I always like to be in the studio and trying to make something happen,” said Milhazes. “I have a friend that says, ‘If something will happen, it will happen in the studio.’”
Experiment and explore
“Sometimes I find myself as a scientist,” said Milhazes, “introducing some new elements, new possibilities, and from this point creating kind of chain reaction … until one point that you see a completely different kind of composition.”
The blank canvas can definitely be anxiety-enducing at times. Not because you can’t do it (whatever it is you’re trying to do—write, draw, design, etc.), but rather because there’s tons of possibilities and getting to one that’s makes sense while achieving your goals is challenging and daunting.
It stares you in the face, but you have to attack it, and keep going. You can write down what you’re trying to do, how you’ll get there, and what components it will consist of, but in the actual making of the thing, you can’t try to evaluate everything in the beginning. Yes, starting with a sketch and outline helps a ton, but you’ll get to a point when you just have to do the damn thing. And when you do, you just have to keep working at it.
Anxiety will appear if you care about the work. But it’s through momentum that you set yourself—and what you’re trying to do—free.