Ignite your creativity this Halloween at these Spooky Events!

Oiche Samhain is one of the most inspiring times of year for artists, art hobbyist and creatives everywhere. Traditionally the veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest at this time and our imaginations can be set free as freedom of expression and exploring new persona’s becomes mainstream.  Some cultural events are taking place around Ireland to celebrate our most famous pagan festival. Should you wish to be instilled with Celtic mysticism, scared out of your wits or simply looking for somewhere to enjoy Halloween, check out the following Samhain events.

LoughCrew Megalithic Centre: The Boyne Valley is steeped in ancient history and mysticism.  Check out Sliabh na Cailli, the hill of the witches, at Autumn equinox or at Halloween.  Walking in the footsteps of ancestors at this 5,000 year old site is sure to rejuvenate the creative juices. The stone carvings and incredible landscape will not disappoint.

Location: Oldcastle, Co. Meath
Website: loughcrewmegalithiccentre.com

Ghostly Tours of Hook Lighthouse.    Special Halloween tours at the lighthouse are designed for those who like the ghoulish and thehl-201x300 terrifying. Creeping through the darkened lighthouse where ghost and ghouls lurk and with the sound of the waves smashing against the rocks, certainly sets the scene. The faint light thrown periodically by the
lighthouse beacon adds to the atmosphere of terror, and the whole experience is well put together. The tours are suitable for braver kids and for much braver adults but are not for anyone, adult or child, of a nervous disposition.

Location: Hook Head, Wexford
www.hookheritage.ie

The ghosts of Wicklow Gaol:  More spooky shenanigans in the Wicklow Jail with a night tour of this creepy ancient building.  The normal interactive tour of this 300 year old jail includes holograms, visual displays and guided tours, but at Halloween you can join the ghosthunters and seek the restless spirits who walk the corridors,  beginning at 9pm and finishing sometime around 2/3am the Wicklow Goal - Halloween activities to spark creativityfollowing morning, if you can stand it that long

Location: Wicklow Town
Website: wicklowshistoricgaol.com

Nightmare Realm:Are you ready to face your darkest nightmares and experience the artistry of fear?  We are Ireland’s most extreme scare attraction, and are masters at creating horror and fear.  This is not your typical (boo) haunted house – there are no ghosts and goblins – our sets and live creatures prey on your darkest fears and bring your nightmares to life.”  So asks the organisers of the Nightmare Realm. A journey through the dark and downright nasty side of Halloween. Not for the young or the more delicate among us.

Location: Dublin and Cork.

Website: thenightmarerealm.ie

Derry Carnival : To celebrate the Pagan festivalspark in a more festive style, head on up to Derry where the Halloween Carnival attracts as many as 40,000 festival goers. All in full fancy dress and high spirits.

 

But for those of us who get our creative inspiration from the gentle side of nature Oiche Samhain itself, and indeed,  the days  which lead up to the festival,  can provide the most amazing tapestry of natural colours which feed our creative nature in a fulfilling and amazing way. The leaves turn from green to brown and the purple heathers bloom in the mountains.  Autumn is a particularly beautiful season. Get out and enjoy it.Organised walks can be found here.  Be inspired one way or another, this Halloween season.

Overcoming Creative Blocks

We have all been there. The creative juices are just not flowing and you are stuck right in the middle of a project. This is not unusual and in fact, it may be a positive thing. The point is not to despair but to take stock and revitalise that imagination, the elusive visionary ideas and unleash your imagination once more.

There are many types of creative blocks:

Emotional Blocks:   Creativity is very intense and sometimes you can unlock some difficult feelings or expose a raw nerve. If you continue on a certain path, you may fear of what you may uncover or reveal about yourself.   These emotional blocks, fears and misgivings can lead to downloadcreative blocks and procrastination.  To end this particular difficult period, you need to face things head on and come out the other side. Feel the fear and do it anyway, but ensure that you have enlisted supports to get you through.  Many people report a daily meditation session as helpful in unpacking and dealing with emotional issues. Seek assistance or download some guided meditations for home. Surround yourself with good understanding friends and family. On the bright side, when you have overcome this particular block you should be liberated and newly inspired.

Lack of Inspiration:  Everyone needs to be inspired and sometimes there is a lack of food for the creative soul. When there is nothing left in the cupboard, go shopping.  Mix it up. Go to new place, experience new things and find wonder in the things which you love, whether that is music, food, art or nature. Take time to immerse yourself in your own subconscious. Write down your dreams, doodle and day dream. Tap into what made you an artist in the first place. Nostalgia is as good a place to start as any.

Humdrum Work Space:  Add some fun, some colour and some pizzazz to you work space. If the space you wish to create in, is not the space you want to spend time in, then you need to make changes.   Creative blocks are just like any other condition and a few changes to your surroundings will go a long way to getting the creative juices flowing again. Consider headphones or a good sound system, if you are inspired by music. Revamp the space and it will send a message to the brain and encourage and motivate that sleeping visionary talent.

The Effect of Stress:  Stress can have an enormous effect on our creativity. If a problem, or problems, are taking such a toll on your life that your creative performance is affected, there are two solutions. 1. Coping skills.  Introduce some serious coping mechanisms until the issues are resolved. This may include the assistance of family and friends and/or some counselling.  In the short term you might consider redirecting all thecreative-blocks1 emotions into your work. This might not be pretty but it will allow an outlet, even those feelings which are difficult to handle.  It may help if you can treat your work as a refuge — an oasis of control and creative satisfaction in the midst of the bad stuff. Use your art to set your problems aside and focus even or a short time each day.   This may even ease your stress and allow you to view your personal situation with a fresh eye.   2. Take a break.  A short move away from work and the pressures associated with not producing,   may be in order. Turning off completely will provide fresh perspective and may be the best thing in terms of mental health.

Over-load:  A large workload and a long list of outstanding tasks can be very stressful and can impair creativity as you feel overwhelmed and panicked. If the weight of commitments is getting you down, it is time to prioritise. This overwhelming effect of workload makes us feel short of ideas and we lack that spark to do something really creative or extraordinary. So place some tasks on the ‘back-burner’. Dump some jobs and concentrate on the one or two priority projects. Just say no to any further projects or delegate work to others as you de-clutter your brain and allow the space needed for creativity to flourish.

 

Creative blocks happen to everyone. Just as with procrastination and time-management, a little  tweaking of your lifestyle and attitude, will  make a huge difference and should help to  your creativity flowing again