Creative Frustrations: Sod’s Laws of Creativity

M1 Northbound

This morning got off to a bad start with my weekly argument with my tantrummy coffee-machine. It complained three times about its trays needing emptying. Once I’d sorted that to its satisfaction, it refused to serve coffee because I hadn’t given it enough beans. Sometimes it would be quicker to drive to the nearest Nero to get my daily shot than rush around in servile fashion for a lump of metal.

However, it is apt that I should have started the post with a rant of domestic frustration, since I plan today to list my top ten creative frustrations. In no particular order, and ranging from mildly irritating to seriously annoying.

It all began with a thought yesterday. I have done a lot of motorway driving over the last 36 hours. Back and forth to the West Midlands, and half the length of the M62. And I have seen some stunning landscapes in the frosty bleak January light, all of which would have made beautiful snapshots. But the first Sod’s Law of creativity is:

1. You are always in the driver’s seat in the fast lane when you spot the stunning/quirky/enticing shot.

I have mentioned before the joy of pursuing a new, original, innovative idea for days/weeks. But the second Sod’s Law of creativity is:

2. As soon as you have worked through and spent time on a great idea, you visit an exhibition and see someone else has worked through the same idea and resolved it to a degree which is dispiriting in its perfection.

I dislike grubby blunt pencils, but can’t be bothered to find a sharpener most of the time. However:

3. The pencil you choose to sharpen will be the one with a broken lead running its entire length.

There are many brilliant exhibitions around, wherever you live. We experience a privileged age of culture (even with the spending cuts), and there is no excuse for not being able to find a heap of free and inspiring entertaining exhibition in your locality. Except, that is, the Sod’s law of creativity which decrees that:

4. The longer an exhibition is running , the less likely it is you actually get to see it.

And also on this topic,

5. The more interesting and must-see the exhibition sounds, the less likely you are to diarise it.

And finally on this topic:

6. The most interesting exhibition reviews you ever read are always of the ones you have missed.

Perhaps it’s just me and exhibitions. But moving on, because we ain’t finished yet…

7. When running to a tight deadline and needing more paint IMMEDIATELY, the art supplier you make an emergency dash out to will have every single other colour in the range except the one you need.

8. The same art supplier will, however, have the exact colour you need in every other medium.

9. The more often you tell yourself you must be careful not to step in wet resin, the more likely it is that you will.

10. Black paint never gets spilt on a black floor.

What are yours?


One response to Creative Frustrations: Sod’s Laws of Creativity

  1. The second Sod’s law is one that I have often experienced – when you see others’ ideas so well executed you want to dash home and paint quickly so you can pretend to yourself that you did it first!

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