Ode to Yayoi & How to get over a creative funk

This morning, my sister Diana and I went to see my favorite artist Yayoi Kusama's exhibit, "Festival of Life," at the David Zwirner Gallery here in NYC. You can watch the video below or read more about Yayoi HERE. Diana and I thanked the weather gods above for not being too terribly cold as we waited in line for two hours.

Kusama has been my favorite artist ever since seeing her incredible Whitney exhibit in 2012. I've seen plenty of amazing art before but how I felt at Whitney was a transformative, almost spiritual, experience- I'm totally not kidding. I stood there for three hours mesmerized and transfixed at all her paintings, sculptures, videos, and notebooks. That never happened to me before. I became so obsessed that I went as her the following Halloween, complete with paints in tow to draw polka dots on people just like she did at her famous rallies.

As I learned more about Kusama and her work and why she's so obsessed with polka-dots, I was inspired by how she channels her pain, phobias, disorders, and sheer genius into amazing art that stays true to her unique artistic identity. Her art is truly inimitable and moving even as she uses simple concepts and techniques. That kind of vulnerability and willingness to be ordinary in a sense is something I aspire to.

PHOTO: Had to take a selfie. The line moved along efficiently but that's because they only allowed us three minutes inside the Infinity Rooms!

PHOTO: Diana and I waiting in line.

PHOTO: Peering into the Infinity Room

I'm really glad to have gone to the exhibit today. I've been in a funk and craving to be inspired. A few days before Thanksgiving Break last week, my body finally broke down and I got sick. I was bedridden for two days and couldn't sleep or eat. I felt like an old lady as I stayed in my room to rest while Austin and his family went out to run, walk, train everyday over the break.

The break was relaxing but I was also anxious and felt stuck, and I didn't know why. Later, I realized it was because I couldn't practice or do my work. I discovered something- I'm obsessed with working even when I'm sick and/or on vacation. I've a feeling that I got sick from not taking a break since last spring with preparing for my TEDx talk, vacation adventures, summer program, moving, album launch, LA trip, etc. With so much going on, I forgot what it's like to do nothing, so my body shut down to force me to stop. Below are some ideas to move through a creative funk like this.


1) Rest and do nothing.

It may feel like a creative funk but what you might need is rest and to clear your head. If you're anxious and can't relax, I recommend exercise and meditation.

2) Go on an artist date.

Go to a performance, reading, exhibit, film, etc. that excites you. You'll feel happy to be close to creative inspiration.

3) Do something creative that's not directly related to your work.

It could be anything. For example, I find blogging and writing this post to be a creative and purposeful outlet for me to express my thoughts and ideas.

4) Play

Try something new or just experiment without any purpose other than to just play. For example, I read through Caroline Shaw's piece "Gustave Le Gray" just for fun because I wanted to; it's not part of any project or upcoming performance.

VIDEO: Yayoi Kusama – Obsessed with Polka Dots

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