I have an admission to make…I have been in something of a creative slump, or having a ‘block’ as some might say, and I am wondering if like a bad habit, the first step is sort of admitting you might have something of a little ‘problem’?!..I am not feeling the usual momentum that drives my artistic output, expecially with the excitement of the arrival of SPRING!…I do have a little ‘prescription’ that I often implement when I find my self in this kind of space, and thought I might take a moment to share some of my thoughts on this issue, and query you, gentle readers as to any wisdom you might add to stir this pot?
A ‘short list’ of IDEAS….
-DO keep on working at your art…even if what you are producing feels off and flat…doing nothing just drags you deeper into inertia, and….. even a ‘bad’ idea can sometimes take you down a path that punctuates itself with a good one.
-DONT go looking at other folks art for ‘inspiration’…this can either leave you feeling even more unsuccessful, expecially ifyou are suffering from self doubts, or you run the risk of inadvertently creating derivative work that will not make you any happier as it will look like someone elses’s
-DONT sit around and just write lists of ‘ideas’….it is sort of akin to checking out your belly button lint when you should be working…it puts off the inevitable…get in your studio and do your thing!
-DO pick up your tools and PLAY…set parameters and points of departure that break the rules in the kind of creative work you do…sometimes sticking yourself in a box , ( say, taking photographs upside down for a week, or forcing yourself to make jewelry using all the singleton stones you have collected and dont know what to do with) can help you break out of a rut
– DO think in terms of opposites and juxtapositions… perhaps try to break some of the rules of your particular medium?
-DO try a class or workshop in another medium that you have been curious about. For example, I took a children’s book illustration course one summer. I know I will NEVER become a 2 dimensional artist…I just don’t think or see that way, so the pressure of already knowing this WASN’T going to end up being my ‘thing’ allowed me to simply relax, enjoy and create a really fun children’s book! What the experience DID do is simply get my creative juices flowing in an non-intimidating way….now for folks in this class who really wanted to be writers, that’s a whole ‘nother story!
– DONT spend time cruising other artist’s sites….now is NOT the time to compare your work to others!
– DO take a ‘day trip’ if you can ( or even a couple of hours) to someplace you have never been before for some inspiration….if you live near nature, seek that out…if you live in a big city, try a new part of town with a strong cultural influence…when I was in NYC, I could be transported simply by going to little Italy for pastries!
-DO take solace in the fact that these ‘lulls’ occur in every creative life, and no one’s output
(although when YOU are the one who is in this space it seems that way) is consistently brilliant
-DO gravitate to those in your life who are supportive of your endeavors, no matter what you might be reaching for…
-DO smile knowingly at Lord Ganesha, remover of obstacles, alot :)!
I am going to go downstairs and melt some more metal….
Please, if the spirit moves you, creative souls, share your comments….what do you do?