Another artist on a FaceBook group I belong to asked the question of how to get out of a creative block that she’d been in for quite a while. It inspired me to post my thoughts about it. My answer (elaborated here) was this:
Have you ever watched a dog getting ready to take a nap? Mine would circle the spot where she planned to sleep several times before finally laying down. I watched her and learned. So my “circling” is to clean up, arrange my work space (if it needs it) and then get a piece of watercolor paper taped on a board. I start with the mundane and non- threatening steps. Next I flip through my my sketchbook looking for something that pops out at me that makes me want to paint and usually after circling around like that I’m ready.
But if I have no idea of what I want to paint after that, here are a couple of things that usually work. I grab my sketchbook and start doodling. A lot of times something will emerge that I want to do. If not then I look at other artists works for inspiration. I find 3-4 paintings that I like of 3-4 different artists and using one or two elements that I liked in each painting create a new piece. Something new emerges that I might not have thought of before.
in·er·tia ~ [in-ur-shuh, ih-nur-] noun
a.the property of matter by which it retains its state of rest or its velocity
along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an
3. Medicine/Medical . lack of activity, especially as applied to a uterus during
childbirth when its contractions have decreased or stopped.
(Kind of sounds like creativity stopped dead in its tracks….)
One more thing about inertia. If you do get yourself going and moving, don’t stop. At the very least have the next idea ready in your head. A sketchbook filled with ideas goes a long way toward giving you the momentum that you need to stay out of the funk bucket. Sketches are also a great way to keep exploring new directions, because boredom is another kind of block inducer. Let whatever idea comes into your head take shape on the paper. It doesn’t mean you ever have to do anything with it but you will have told your unconscious that ideas are important and the muse of imagination will gladly give you more.
So how have you gotten past creative block? Or are you stuck now? Please leave your comments below because I’d love to hear them.
Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved Ann Gates Fiser