Friday, September 01, 2006
Studio Friday - Artist's Block
"You've heard of 'writer's block'. Well as an artist, I sometimes suffer from "Artist's block". What is this you ask? It's when you sit and sit and can't come up with anything. This can go on for hours, days, weeks even months sometimes. --I want to know how you break free of Artist's block! " ~ Gabi
These days, I don't seem to ever have artist's block - mostly from having so little time to get into my studio, so that when I do, I have little notes and sketches that have accumulated in my pockets and my purse and my journals,of all the projects I want to create... but even so, I do find that certain activities make my juices flow better...
One is making art in one of my art journals. Since they're meant for experimentation rather than a finished project, it's easy to just say "what if" and to put the paints, etc. to paper.
Other sources of artistic inspiration that always work for me:
1. taking a walk - I get more ideas just walking than almost any other way;
2. flipping through my favorite art/decorating/food magazines;
3. making an artist's date with my friend Debbie. When we commit to one another and bounce ideas off of each other, we never leave without having made some art;
4. re-organizing my art room. This always sparks ideas, as I rediscover items that I forgot I had.
...and on this topic, there are also things that cripple my creativity, even if I have ideas, so I try not to do them too often, such as:
1. compare my work to that of other artists - particularly with the accessibility of online sources, there are days when I surf a few of my favorite artist sites, and instead of becoming inspired, I get the "Oh, God, I'll never be as good as that," blues;
2. deadlines & commitments - this is tough for me, because I do make my living as a graphic artist, and I also teach classes, so I have lots of deadlines & commitments. But there's nothing like a looming deadline to make me feel like, "I don't want to make that today, I'd rather do this other thing." So essentially, I'm very immature. In this case, I try to achieve balance, by allowing myself some real play time within my work time -- and I remind my childish self that I am so lucky to be making a living at something I love!
3. Rules. This is another curious problem, because this works both as an inspiration & a paralyzer for me. If I am participating in an ATC swap, for example, I like having a theme or some rules/limitations to work within, as long as the subject matter is open. When I am planning a class, however, I don't like being limited to a particular set of materials or a limited list of companies- I mention this because I teach at retail stores, and sometimes this is a very real dilemma for me, since they have to be able to purchase materials for sale. My problem in this case is that I inevitably find the perfect embellishment, or final touch that is very difficult to find, or that comes from a retail vendor who is slow, etc., and I hate compromising my final design because of some vendor who can't deliver.
Wow, so much to say on this topic! - I can't wait to see what others have to say.
And to my few but faithful regular readers, I am in the throws of our convention season at work, so my hours are long and my blogging time is short. I apologize for not posting more often. Hopefully my schedule will slow down again to normal pace in a few weeks and I'll be able to post at least a few times a week.