"I'm a professional"

A few weeks ago, an artist I follow on Instagram put up an AMA in their story. As most AMAs on Instagram, it was pretty standard and mundane as far as the questions and answers went. But there was one that now seems to have embedded itself into my brain for it’s sheer asshole-ishness. The question was (going from memory here):

How do you overcome a creative block?

Pretty common question, and frankly, a good one: creative blocks are a bitch. Everyone gets them from time-to-time, and they can be really disruptive, and even depressing, if you can’t get over them quickly. Here’s the answer (again, paraphrasing from memory):

I’m a professional [artist]. I don’t have the luxury of getting creative blocks.

That is a condescending non-answer. It’s a great response to something like “Are you an amateur whatever?”, or “Are you a professional jack ass?”. But “How do you overcome a creative block?” Pure… ego stroking? Put down? Both? I can’t decide, but either way it sucks as an answer.

If you’re a professional, you probably have a lot of experience and skills to draw on. Share that knowledge rather than giving snarky, untrue answers. And that answer is disingenuous: everyone gets creative blocks.

Of course, it’s impossible to know the mind space of the guy: maybe he’s been asked that particular questions in inordinate amount of times and is sick of answering it. Having a really shitty day in general – maybe his dog just died, or he lost a big contract. I dunno. And I have to keep reminding myself that one instance of asshole behaviour does not make an asshole: frankly, otherwise, they guy has always seemed like like good person otherwise. Maybe English isn’t his native language and something got lost in translation?

I suppose the real question I need to be asking myself is why is this bothering me? Being a jerk is the lingua franca of the internet, and as far as that goes, this barely registers. And I don’t know either person, so I don’t have a dog in the race. I guess that doing something creative is hard enough in terms of both skill and motivation – being an elitist asshole to others is not the best approach in general.

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