Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jump starting Creativity...

I found myself in a creative 'slump' over the past few months.
The mind just seemed to be made of lead!
I know others have had this kind of a 'block'... what did you do to open that
door and move on?
Probably backing up a tad, why do you think it happens?


  1. I have creative slumps a couple times a year and I'm learning to trust that I just need that break. I do something else that's fun meanwhile and soon I'm back. Taking artist's dates and writing morning pages (per Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way)is a great way to stay in the game but also take a break from making art if you need to. I also have blue periods (aka mild depression) a couple times a year often coinsiding with the creative slump. I've accepted these periods as a pulling-back-to-regroup process

  2. I think many of us forget that making art is 90% sweat and only 10% inspiration (or some percentage like that!) So, sometimes we just need to DO it.......as for being real, I find that many times going to the machine and doing mending will spark something creative. I try also to keep a list of procedures/techniques I want to experiment with and this "practice" may lead to that feeling of creativity. Getting into the "zone" is something we have to train ourselves to do. We can't wait until we feel like it to do housework or cook.......it has taken many years of "training" to just "do" it. Why do we (myself included!) expect to wake up with a full blown creative inspiration when it comes to our art? On the other hand, as Cynthia says, pulling back and regrouping is also necessary...we must feed our souls with other experiences in order to create. Maybe a different type of creativity is called for, gardening, reading, knitting, seeing a few movies. Dwelling on a lack of inspiration will drive one nuts (ie: Van Gogh!!!!) but using the down time could lead to even better productivity!!! (Now if I can just figure out how to apply this "sage" advice!!!! LOL

  3. ps - I think this blog will be a great help in many ways......to work through slumps, problems with a piece, whatever!! Thanks Cynthia for setting it up!!!

  4. I think you're hearing two different but very valid approaches. you can use both. When my cretive juices aren't flowing I do "donkey" work--in the studio. This might be hemming pants or cleaning paint jars, but they both put me in touch iwth colour and fabric--the stimuli I need to get going. The other approach is to recognize that you must rest your muse. She can't function full out all the time. Another thought is that you also have to keep your body in shape--much harder to do as we age. IMHO a personal pamper is just as important as an artist's date.
    Pat F in winnipeg

  5. slump????? me?????? whew, this seems like a daily state of mind sometimes. For me, the slump happens when there is too much on my plate whether real or an imagined state of mind I put myself into. I have to recognize that I can't multi-task the way I used to and usually need to physically and mentally clear out superflous 'stuff'. I recently cleaned off shelves, boxed the stuff up, let it sit for a month before sending it to a consignment shop and couldn't even remember what was in the boxes. The problem is that everything left on the shelves expanded like foam rubber to fill in the holes and I need to do this again. So I guess in a simple statement to get out of the slump I have to clean up and clear out.

  6. Most of what Janice PD said is how I feel...having too much I want to do or family things we need to do..all taking me in too many directions and I can't decide where to start...obligations or designing???And I do nothing or very little...
    FFFC does inspire me...My husband keeps telling me..."Do one thing at a time."
    When the FFFC is using the color wheel I cannot get started because I just use the colors I like...
    I have signed up for a class for a bag(Purse)with my guild...I know I could just make the bag on my own...being in a class with others will be an inspiration.I've also signed up for an Art class in November for more motivation.I haven't done much of anything for over a year...because of my husband being sick and all the care involved...he's getting better and still need care.I'm ready to jump in again and use "those unused minutes" as someone wrote recently on one of my groups.
    Janice Simpson

  7. A couple of years ago a friend came over and we had a "summer solstice" celebration. We talked a lot about the seasons, and what happens in each of them. That experience, combined with keeping a 10-yr. journal, made me realize that I also have my "seasons." There tend to be certain times of the year when I'm more or less productive, more or less inspired, more or less enthusiastic. It's really helped me to just allow me to be me--that is, not to beat myself up when I'm feeling drab and uninspired and just don't care that much. I try to see that as part of the natural cycle of things, a time for rest or reflection, etc. Of course, like a lot of people have said, I still keep going at some mundane or routine task. I can also usually "test" myself to see if I really need a break by pulling one of my great art/craft books off the shelf; if that doesn't inspire me to get to work or start ideas firing in my brain, I know I need the break.

  8. I seem to block for two reasons. One, I've finished EVERYTHING and have nothing in the pipeline, and two, I have too many ideas and just shut down. The only thing that really helps me get going again, not to put TOO fine a point on it (LOL), is to just get going. Get my little paws into the fabric, paint, whatever. Stop looking around for inspiration and JUST DO IT. Something. Anything. Work small if nothing else. One piece leads to another. But I need to start that first piece. Right this minute, not tomorrow.

  9. What I am finding interesting in this discussion is.. or are... 2 things:
    One, it happens, it is OK...take a break... it is probably needed.
    Two,..which is probably so much needed... just fiddle with something that could be the trigger. Something mundane as 'repairs' to clothing, rearranging the stash, play with you scrap bag.....

    I also am hearing that ... why does it happen?..... maybe it NEEDS to??
    This is great.. thank you for your responses...

  10. I just heard about this article on perfectionism on another list. I think it pertains very well to this discussion. Maybe not perfectly, but well enough! LOL http://www.dailygood.org/more.php?n=3845

  11. Robert Genn is an artist/teacher who puts out a twice weekly email about being an artist/creating art. Today's was especially meaningful to this discussion:


  12. His letter actually made me think he has been reading our blog...smile...

    Actually, as I have been crawling around blogs, this is a real topic of discussion.
    Oh, yes.. reading a man's blog this aft. I saw where he too talked about Twyla T. and rituals...