Friday, February 5, 2010

Creative Block



I have been feeling really creative since I got home from my travels last week. The only problem has been I can't figure out what I want to create. It feels like something new is brewing but it's just having trouble coming to the surface. So today I tried to help it along but ended up played around with my knitting and read my new book, a mystery called Shadow Of the Wind. I have even been finishing up some of my new pattern designs and a new book idea.
But this overwhelming urge to make something NEW keeps poking at me. I love this creative, psyschotic passion, but I am also so frustrated by it that I want to scream.

Today I sat in the studio just thinking, touching fabric, pacing, then I succumbed to the dreaded straightening of the studio. I know...what came over me?

There is a fine balance between working at what you love and trying to make a living at it while trying to always stay true to your artist self. I try to schedule my diverse alter egos. One week I'm the savvy business woman, hopefully wearing Prada (in my dreams, it's more like sweats and a tee.) The next week I am the melodramatic, moody artist that wants a gun for Mother's Day. But nobody in their right mind would give me. What about the Constitution?!?

So it has come to this. I don't think I am alone with this creative frustration as I sometimes see my students dealing with this tender artist frustration. It's normal, I think, and it is supposed to be frustrating. If it wasn't, you would not appreciate the moments when the true gift of creativity just flows.

Ms. Sharky, my college art teacher, explained to me that you have work at being creative. You learn to not wait for the perfect mood, but discipline yourself to create something every day whether you want to or not, because that is when you might have the perfect moment. OK, I might have over embellished it a bit but she was right.

So by the time Joe came home from work today, I had started a new art piece. It's a landscape (really, it's a seascape and maybe a new technique or pattern for my students). I may teach this on the Hawaiian Cruse this fall but it had to start with just playing around which meant just doing something and see what happens.

A few tips to jump start your creativity when you've hit the wall:

1) Feel and touch your fabric, even if it means just straightening your fabric drawers. You'll find new colors you didn't know you had.

2) Work with what thrills you today as tomorrow it may be something different. And that is OK.

3) Immerse yourself in the colors you love and the subject matter you love. That is sure to inspire you.

4) Allow yourself to say I don't like that and I don't want to finish it. It is more important to have the inspiration moment because that can lead to something great than to finish something that is just not working. The new project might be the stepping stone to the next great idea.

So for now, I just made this Hawaiian Sunset from a picture I took on vacation in Maui in 2003. Its not the big one I feel brewing inside, but it makes me happy for right now. Tomorrow, who knows.......
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