Dec 17, 2010

Your Suggestions are WELCOME!

I post every Friday on the Art Dolls Only Blog, a feature called Tips and Tricks Friday.  Today's tip seemed to apply not just to art doll makers, but to anyone--writers, artists, performers, anyone who depends on creativity to make their work...well, work.  Today's tip is about getting "unstuck" when you suffer a block in your creativity.  So I decided to re-post it here, and see what all my creative friends have to suggest...

Do you ever find yourself spending your creative time--your precious, jealously guarded, hard-earned studio hours--polishing the underside of the coffee table or re-alphabetizing your appliance warranty booklets?  I do, once in a while.

Paralyzed creativity.  What do you do to relieve this?  

When the problem is in my head--rather than my day-planner--my answer is to move.  Not like with a U-Haul to another zip code...I mean I have to get off my uncreative (and usually self-pitying) tookus and move.  It has to be the kind of movement that requires no concentration.  Just one foot in front of another.  Repeat.  Could be an exercise machine at the gym, but it's best to get outdoors, even if it's cold and windy.  My inner child whines a little if this is the case, but after a block or two I warm up.

The ideas don't come flooding in right away.  I don't stop and yell "EUREKA!" at the neighbor's dog, but somehow, in the course of a nice long walk, whatever's been clogging up the works gets unclogged.  I get home, and may go straight to the studio, or may plop down on the couch with a sketch book.  Either way, the blood's going in my brain, I don't feel guilty about a creativity-enhancing snack, and I've shifted my perspective without really knowing how.  I just know it works for me.

What do you do to get un-stuck?


  1. I TOTALLY agree with you!
    I was stuck in Nowhere Land not so long ago, and doing more physical activity definitely helped!

    Hope you are having a lovely creative day.

  2. I actually took a nap today! :~)

  3. Hi Jan! I think there are times when you just need to let the 'creative bucket' fill up. Sometimes, if I can't think of anything to do art-wise, I go to flickr and just look at what other people are doing. It inspires me to keep trying new things. :) I hope you had a nice nap!

  4. Yo, I like the idea of re-filling the bucket.

    My fear when trying something like visiting others' sites come from my immaturity as an artist--experience-wise. I don't have enough of my own voice developed to trust that I won't unconsciously "copy" what I've seen...

    Hmmm. Another idea for blog topics.

  5. Now that's a topic we all fear, unconsciously coping someones elses style! It really keeps me from listing sometimes. But then I remember collective energy...when like minds seem to create the same idea. There are many snowmen, but they are all different! I think your own uniqueness shines through and it's not the same.
    I do get stuck a lot, the ideas flow, but I just can't get my hands to create! I then start cleaning or pull weeds.
    But I do see how the fresh air gets the thoughts moving.

  6. Ooh, pulling weeds. I forgot that one. And sometimes I realize my primary problem is I've let my studio get so crapped out I've no room to work!

    Y'all are awesome. Thanks for the suggestions and ideas! If you don't mind, I'll post them on Magical Holiday Artists' blog...

  7. Just jumping back in here for a minute (I'm like that - haha) - I think it's wonderful to be inspired by other artists, and quite another thing to copy them. Here's an example of what I'm talking about: I was looking at mixed media on flickr and ebay, and going "Wow!" and "Ooooh!" and then I thought about doing some of my skellies in mixed media pieces, little rooms maybe, where the skellies mingle (lol!). So not copying, but using their work as a jumping off point? Also, when you look at other work, you remember things like "Hey, I really like birds! Why don't I ever sew/paint/draw a bird?" It jiggles the grey cells for me. Okay, back to wrapping. ;)

  8. You're more than welcome to jump in and out all day, Yo.

    I will try to take your point about artists' inspiration...when I say try, I mean I'll try not to be "scairt" and just go seeeeee. :~) Yay--birds!


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