Through one recent dilemma, I have been in touch with a fellow artist who has posted on her blog how she's dealt with creative block, especially when you feel like your self-confidence is being severely tested. I thought I would link up her blog posts here as they are indeed appropriate for how I'm feeling right now.
http://judyadamsonartanddesign.blogspot.com/2010/05/magic-of-confidence.html and http://judyadamsonartanddesign.blogspot.com/2010/08/max-shapey-lcsw-on-blocks-to-creativity.html
and to overcome creative block in the art world, http://judyadamsonartanddesign.blogspot.com/2010/07/6-tips-for-overcoming-artists-block.html
It comes down to getting motivated and finding one's own goals and I thought I would address some things here. Motivation - the driving force to do something. Hum... where does one start? I guess in a way I've been lucky in that my creative juices flow in many directions. When I'm feeling particularly down lacking motivation to do any one particular form of art, I hop over to something else or do something else. And then the flip side of this, I face hurdles in staying focused when I feel things aren't going quite the way I want them to go.
Model Horse Painting/Customizing. Sometimes it's a battle here as in many cases your sales come down to how well your work wins in our hobby competitions. I've battled feeling held back and one well-established artist told me to stop thinking about what others think - paint/create model horses because it makes ME feel good. I really tried to change my mindset, and believe me, I still battle with this today. However, when I started focusing NOT on creating winning pieces and focusing on doing a better job, it seemed to help.
Here's one of my latest creations named Incantation - a Peter Stone Ideal Stock Horse model repositioned, repainted, and given real mohair. He is owned by a dear friend who's been kicking my butt to push on with this art form based on two models I've now done for her that have become local "champions". My focus here now - not on creating winners but having fun doing the creating, doing the best I can, and just pleasing a commissioning client or MYSELF.
When the painting of model horses "isn't talking to me," I'll jump over to another form of art to refocus. Sometimes it's attempting to do poetry, writing fan fiction for my favorite movies or TV shows, or doing something like digital art. I can spend hours looking for colorful patterns and pictures using free program called Fractal Explorer and Apophysis and taking the rendered images and at times making even more creations by combining them together.
Inspiration - something that sparks that inner drive to move forward. To me, it can come in many forms - perhaps as a kind word from someone who understands what you are going through; a feeling of success at one step that drives you on to the next; or obtaining some inner peace doing something relaxing (sometimes these are temporary "fits"). For example, I will take a stroll down to Center Cemetery in my home town - yes, this sounds freaky but let me explain - Center Cemetery resides right alongside a salt marsh and it's truly beautiful there in the summer. As a nature watcher, I enjoy the large number of birds that congregate here to feed on fish and small crustaceans that make their way upstream on the high tides. Egrets, herons, songbirds, ducks and geese, sandpipers, and my favorite - the Ospreys - all hand out here. I'll watch kingfishers show off their marvelous hunting skills hanging in the sky as they locate a fish to pounce on. The sandpipers probe the exposed mudflats for bites to eat. And seaside dragonflies patrol the cemetery grounds and over the river's water for prey. As a water sign being a Scorpio, I find peace here. It's generally quite except for the periodic visitor wishing to pay respects to a loved on that passed on. Even for myself, a dear friend was laid to rest here and now I get to say hello to her while I commune with Nature. I never go to this place without my camera as I never know what I will see there. And after a venture like this, there are times I'll come home and create, create, create!
You don't necessarily need to go far either. Sometimes I just need a short walk outside my own door into the yard to feel inspired to work on art. I also don't go outside without my camera. The flowers are blooming now both wild and cultivated. There are numerous creatures hard at work with daily life. Sometimes I find inspiration in seeing how they don't let the bad things hinder them. They have things they must do and they just do them. Even if you are in the city, take a moment and go outside. One favorite thing I enjoyed in my youth was just looking up at the clouds and observing patterns or pictures that emerged.
I see ocean wave rolling in. What do you see?
Like many, sometimes you feel like the weight of the world is upon your shoulders. I'll focus on the things I can't do or haven't felt successful with and these will curb my creativity a great deal. Then, I will get a swift kick to the posterior that gives me the strength to push on. Yes, there are times I feel like I'm taking a step forward and then twenty backward. We all can be our own worst enemy - this can squash the creative focus or cause unnecessary high levels of stress. I'll whine and complain, but I will eventually seek something that allows me to push forward - like a fast and hard reminder I still have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and my health. I've overcome stresses others might have folded to long ago. Admittedly, it's a battle but I refuse to give up. As I was yet again just reminded via conversation with a fellow artist, perhaps something is coming along that just hasn't presented itself yet - maybe where I am now is just a springboard to something bigger and better - and I need to be there with open arms to embrace it.
I guess the reason for my ramblings is this - find something that boosts your motivation and allows you to find inspiration to create, or to accomplish a task that has otherwise proved daunting to face. So today, I will finish painting that model horse I was commissioned to do, take care of a few necessary chores around the house, and take a short walk outside and marvel at what I might discover in my own back yard.
Feel Better Friend card and a Friends Like You birthday card