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.

13 comments:

firstborn said...

this was a very thoughtful post on this week's sf topic...i hear you on so many of your points! thank you for sharing your thoughts...

Anke said...

Hey you put a couple things in your post, which gives me new inspiration too. Kind of funny, what things get you going again!

Ouissi Gresty said...

I know how you feel about comparing yourself to other artists...I get crippled by this particularly by looking at work that I love but is so different from what I do...with paint, loads of different layers etc...it can make me really unsure if i'm in the wrong mood, as if my style is too safe & simple...very strange how you often love work that is so different from your own!!

Thanks for your comments...I do make each card & invite by hand but once I have designed & made one card the rest are relatively easy, if time consuming, to complete...I usually print all the elements, then cut them all out etc...do it in stages...it's lovely to see all the finished pieces together...especially as none are completely identical...

Ouissi x

naomi said...

Great images!

Carrie Sommer said...

I like the way you work through it, and I like your rules. They are ones that we all should follow...

Laura said...

walking walking walking! my dh teases me because most of the time I'm in my own little artsy world while I walk. That is the way I process and think of new things. AND reorganizing my studio. Good ones, I had forgotten about the latter.

APlanet4Creation said...

Lack of time in the studio is my problem too.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

What beautiful journals you have created! i love the idea of writing notes and collecting them wherever so when i have time i can sit and be inspiried by them!!

Going For Greatness said...

dasGorgeous pieces you have here.. omg I LOVE your style!!!
Organizing the studio also helps me too! Sometimes I have to take a step back and just rethink and reorganize!!
XO
Gabi

kate_always said...

Your journal looks interesting! Thank you for your comments too, I can sympathize with the way rules and restrictions both help and hamper a project.

DEW said...

Boy do I know about you and RULES! :-D Great post - I really like how you organized it. You and I did a similar thing though - listing causes. I guess we're both cause and effects kinda gals eh? Ha - crazy maker...yep, left mine out because he doesn't cause block (as long as I don't ask his opinion on something I'm not certain about), he just prevents me from getting to my art room. xox

Salix Tree said...

oh, yes.. "I will never be as good as..."
hehe.. trying to not think that way is a good rule, as each person has thier own unique style and ideas. It's hard to do, I might have gotten to the point where it bugs me less often.
Lovely art journals!

Donna said...

One saying I learned some time ago is,"Whenever you compare yourself to something/someone, you always lose!" So true! I don't even go there now!!