Creativity Block

I have received some questions that I want to answer here on my blog.  This is a great one from Bonnie and one I know every creative person experiences……

I feel that you are a positive and encouraging person and that is part of what your art is about.  Do you have times when you can’t paint?  Do you ever rip pages out of the book because they just didn’t work?  If you are willing, could you share some of those experiences?  I see so many ideas that I think I could go do that but I just can’t seem to do it.   also how do you store your loose pieces that you have done that maybe aren’t so good?  You will never know how much Monday’s are to me.  You are connection to life and have helped me center into my creative side.  You will never know how much Monday’s are to me. You are connection to life and have helped me center into my creative side. Thank you.”  ~Bonnie S.

Great, great questions and thank you Bonnie!  In a nutshell the answers are Yes, Rarely, Yes I will share!

First off……being positive and encouraging has been a process in my journey of life but truly have found when you are positive it comes back to you in so many ways you never imagined.  That is reflected in my own personal style of art.  It does not mean my life is easy, I have not had struggles, my kids don’t drive me nuts, I don’t want to run and hide sometimes, etc. but it means when life throws me curve balls I have found the tuck, duck and roll method and waiting it out with a smile on my face serves me better.

With that said there are times I have the worst creative block and I HATE IT!  And it is a vicious circle.  When life get’s it’s toughest is when I feel I need that art outlet and yet I may not have the time or energy.  And there are times I just look at what I have done and wonder what was thinking.  I RARELY but have tossed ideas from my art journal.  Sometimes I move on and leave pages undone. It is almost like at those times that page or concept served it’s purpose and the next time I sit down I may have a whole other set of emotions.  Sometimes the ideas are flowing out of me like a waterfall and I cannot get to the next page.

I will say this too;  when I am experience heartache or happiness I am painting from that true emotion and it shines through.  Many artists are emotional like that (i.e songwriters when they break up) so I try to harness those emotions.  I can look back at my pages and remember how I was feeling.

So when creative blocks happen, here are some exercises I return to:

  • Creative field trips – these are mini trips typically alone and do not have to cost any money.  I may visit my favorite art supply store and just see all the amazing tools (which happens to be in Little Italy so I get awesome pasta and a glass of wine).  Walk through a botanical garden.  Another favorite of mine, trips to Barnes & Noble (since Borders is gone) and sit there with a stack of magazines and a tea just grounds me.  I take along an idea pad and just job down my ideas that jump in my head so I don’t forget them.  This was just last Sunday.

Barnes

  • Walking – yep, going out and moving my rear is good for the body, mind and creative spirit.  Find what moves you.  I love to be outside whether just a walk on a trail or on the beach.
  • Travel journal supplies – have them and use them.  Don’t over-pack, challenge yourself to use what you have and when you get home if you liked your idea take it to canvas.  I am known to have my stuff in the car, plane, train and soon to be boat!
  • Relocate your Studio!  Take it to the pool, porch, beach, etc. and another great place I highly recommend is a Starbucks!  I shared my latest adventure HERE.  I get so much done!

koi1

  • Pinterest – I don’t use it often because I don’t want to be sucked in but sometimes I am stuck on a color palette and I can see how it works on other people’s work.
  • Timing – find when your creative mojo is most alert.  I used to be a night owl but have tamed that back a bit and sometimes find that early morning, with just my tea is the best time to pull out the art journal.
  • Photography – Sometimes I have to put the paint brush down and grab my camera.  Sometimes photographing what is around me is the art I need to focus on.  Or…….I may take a pictures of something I want to paint later.
  • Pick a color palette and just run with those 4 colors.  I challenge myself to use what I have.
  • Focus on the Quote/Message – Sometimes I work backwards and have the quote/message before the piece comes to life.
  • Reading Books on Creativity – I have a number of books I have read that have inspired me and propelled me.  I will share them in a future blog post.
  • Mixed Media Monday – this is my #1 tool to just LET IT GO.  Yes, I do have to paint LIVE so really I have to pull something out but it is a time for me that I share my passion with other like-minded souls.  So hopefully one of my pieces, a technique or just that spirit to Let it Go inspires you.  I know for me I sweat it out each week before and am amazing where the allotted creative time takes us.

As for those projects that are not my personal favorites?  I take them for what they are, a learning experience.  If it is a canvas I can gesso over it.  But I have no problem not storing and hanging on to those pieces that just don’t work for me.  I have been surprised though that what I did not prefer turned out to be works of mine that got published or featured in some way.  Here is a snippet of some of my latest art journal pages I will be sharing right here on my blog in the days to come…..

Art_Journal

Thanks Bonnie for your great questions and inspiration. I know I sure had lots to say!  I would love to hear other people’s solutions and ideas to Creativity Block.  I know one thing…………I sure hate those creativity low’s but relish the weekends where I shut down and just make that time fulfills me so.  We all have our own passion to discover.  Listen to what moves you……..

Listen
Your thoughts do not end when you finish thinking them.  They continue to echo through your life.  Choose wisely and intentionally.  Be outrageously and unreasonably positive.  Be funny and creative and ridiculous and joyful all at the same time.  Smile as often as possible.  A smile actually changes the vibe of your body.  It alters, physiologically, the chemistry of your being.  It will make you feel better and do better.”

 

6 thoughts on “Creativity Block

  1. Thank you again for your honesty. At this point in my life I would rather be creative than do mundane household chores. I too go to Barnes and Noble and art stores. I love the early mornings on my porch as the world awakens. Walking is a health thing…I can’t walk some days due to leg and foot pain and some days when I walk that is all I can do for the day. You are such an inspiration to so many folks that you will probably never meet. Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. Great ideas for changing your scenery. And I too am a walker, some of my biggest problems and greatest ideas have been while I am walking.

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