Apr 27, 2012

When Creativity Takes a Nosedive

What do you do?  When all you want to do is sit in the quiet and read...when you find yourself actually more interested in taking care of the laundry or vacuuming the floor...what do you do?  Creative Down Times don't happen to me very often, but I'm in the middle of one right now.  My saving grace is that I know that creative mojo will reassert itself, and pretty soon the laundry will be piling up and the floor will go unswept and I'll have painted whatevers drying all over the house.

Schultz really has nothing to do with Creative Dry Spells, but he has suffered through a few of them. 
But in the meantime, it's scary! 

So does this happen to you?  If so, do you do anything about it?  Do you wait it out?  Is there anything in particular that helps you out of it sooner?  Do tell.

19 comments:

  1. If I don't feel creative I do research in books, on the web...anywhere and everywhere:)

    Maybe you need to look outside your creative space...maybe take a class at night school. Something you don't normally do like stained glass or jewellery making or something:)

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    1. Mary, I think if I got another craft going (with all its attendant supplies, etc.) my hubby might make me move out. :~D But I agree that it helps to do something outside the normal comfort zone to gain a new perspective. I've wanted to paint the top of my scarred up old dining table...that may be the next project.

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  2. I think creative down times are "incubation" periods. While you're reading the book your creative mind is storing up energy.

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    1. I agree. While I do get a little spooked when my normal creative overdrive has slowed to a standstill, I figure we can't be on Full Tilt Bozo all the time or we'd burn out.

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  3. Jan, am having a bit of a nosedive myself...happened when I lost my dad. I also think one has to be careful of too much web...kind of makes me feel sick sometimes. I have started back to work on a couple of dolls, but still feel somewhat drained. I think a little r&r is the best medicine. Of course, there's the creative you just waiting for a spark to get you going...books seem best for me. I also like to take a little day trip with Dan...kind of hits the restart button for me.

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    1. Mary, I'm sorry about your dad...when mine passed away, I sought solace in the pottery I was working on at the time. Some of those pieces remind me of him to this day. Good that you can enjoy motivating times w/ your Dan. :~)

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  4. Hi Jan, I had to think about this one a bit. Right now I am in the same funk, doll bodies await in my craft room waiting to be worked on but I have no desire to work on them. I have been working on penny rugs which I have not done in years just for something new. I find the funk comes when I have several finished projects that aren't moving in the market which makes me question all over again, why do I bother. It doesn't usually last very long so I just go with it and before you know it I want to work on a new project again. I agree with Dixie's comment whole heartedly. :)

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    1. I try not to let sales dictate my mood, but I agree with you--it's hard not to sometimes! I think that's why having the Etsy store is better than the Ebay thing...there have been items that sold after sitting there a year, apparently just waiting for the right person. The Ebay thing feels awful, no matter how many times I remind myself that conditions were just not "right" at that time.

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  5. I have tried Etsy and I find that I don't get the traffic that I do on eBay plus I have too many repeat customers to end eBay at this point. I think it is just a matter of personal experience and preference, some love Etsy and some love eBay. The weather in Vermont has been absolutely crappy for almost 2 weeks and that has me in a big time funk. It is going to be warmer and sunny next week so that will help my spirits big time. Have a great day reading! :)

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  6. I have been in a slump too for about a month. Sometimes I can pull myself out of it by just forcing myself to make something, it doesn't always work, sometimes what I make ends up in the bin. Other times I have to just wait it out like this time, a month long break has resulted in some fresh ideas and a clean home and organized home.

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  7. Hmmm, what to do? I've heard just sit down and start. Maybe put a new spin on one of your dolls that might not normally work?

    Not that that is working for me lately. Avoidance, that's my way. Gah.

    Good luck, Jan. I know it will be back and you will amaze us with your creations.

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  8. I think sometimes it's like exercise. You don't ask yourself if you feel like dong it. You just give yourself an assignment. For instance, do I feel like making doll legs? No. How boring. ;-) I think when you're in a creative funk it's a time to do something that's a little meaningless on the creative spectrum.

    Also, I've found that when I am involved in another creative pursuit (gardening, music, writing) it's not as easy to be involved with a different realm.

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    1. This is something like what I've done...I had seven wooden jointed cats all sculpted and read to sand, paint, and assemble. I began to sand (I hate that part) and once that was over I really was ready to paint. Now they're painted, ready to stain and assemble, and I'm excited to start on something else! :~)

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  9. Schultz is such a cutie!!

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  10. When I'm in a creative slump I just go with it for awhile and if it looks like it's going to be a long term condition I do something dull like make 18 paper mache eggs and then start making heads with them, one by one. Going in I have no plans of what the head will be. When I start sculpting, I let my fingers take control instead of my brain and whatever that wants to come out have it's way. I've got 13 heads sculpted so far and only one has been lucky enough to get a body. I feel everyone needs a bit of down time. That's why there are things like breaks and vacations when you're working at a regular job. Think of your creative slump as a vacation from work. Another thing you may want to think about is the time of year and the changes in the weather effect us in different ways. Just don't worry about not being creative all of the time. Shultz is cute! :o}

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  11. Hey Jan... #1. You're not alone. #2. You're not alone. #3. You're not alone. I too, am struggling creatively to keep my head above water; but it will pass. Thanks for posting your "nosedive" note! Daryle

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    1. Thanks Daryle. I know you have your very good reasons for a creative struggle, but you have inspired so many with the Healing Doll and other expressive works.

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  12. Oh yeah. It happens. To me, it's about *balance.* and relationships.

    There's always some aspect of my life that needs a little rest from time to time ~ and my muse is no exception. Likewise, her need for a break frees me up to tend to those other aspects that miss me, that need me, and that perhaps feel a bit neglected.

    Once the muse is rested and my life restored with harmony, inspiration (of the "creative" variety) returns.

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  13. THERES your sweet little puppy, what a cutie, thank you for you awesome comment on my Creative PaperClay tip! Our furry babies are so important to us. Our new little Bella will be here in about 4 weeks. I am so excited to have her. Lets just hope the Diva Ms Lucy (the cat) acclimates with her.
    take care and your dolls are gorgeous. what kind of clay do you use?
    I want to make a doll but haven't a clue. Any pointers?
    My email is
    altermyworld(dot)angw(at)gmail.com
    i am going to spend a little time looking at your blog. have a wonderful day!
    ANg

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Thank you for taking time to comment! I love hearing your perspectives and ideas.