Has your inspiration for creating art run dry?
At some point or another in your artistic life, you may have experienced one or more of these things:
- staring at your artist’s tools (in my case – paints, paper, canvases), but you just can’t “feeling the love.”
- you have NO any idea what to create and feel uninspired
- your life has been stress-filled and you don’t have a lot of energy to create
- you haven’t created anything in a couple weeks, a month, six months, or more
- you haven’t sold anything in a while
- some comments on recent art have been negative, unkind or hurtful
- you are thinking “what’s the point?”
Because many of us don’t have the luxury or privilege to be full-time artists, we have day jobs that take our time and energies. We have families, bills to pay, and all the “life stuff” to attend to. As we navigate our lives and responsibilities, it’s no wonder that “Artist Block” happens. We only have so much energy in a day. Life can be really distracting to the creative spirit.
Today, you think “Tomorrow, I will paint!”
Tomorrow comes – bringing new distraction and again no painting happens. You think “Tomorrow, I will paint!”
When you are busy and distracted, it’s also an easy time for the inner critic – which I call the “Jackass” – to rear it’s ugly head and beat you down a bit more. Has the Jackass ever said these things to you:
“Why aren’t you painting?”
“Why invest in all those art supplies if you aren’t using them?”
“Why bother, you aren’t all that talented.”
“Only YOU are interested in your art. No one else cares.”
The pressure is heats up. It’s easy to get defeated and beaten down.
Sometimes, it’s just easy to stop altogether. “It’s just a hobby. I’m just a dabbler. I’m not that good.”
Please, Don’t Give Up!
You and your art are important!
Your voice is unique and we need your art in the world! We need your visual voice in our broken world. We need you to create, to teach, to share, and to inspire. Art is one path toward healing our own soul, as well as healing others. So – don’t give up. If you need some inspiration and some prompts to get started again, please keep reading….
3 Simple Ways to Move through “Artist’s Block”
MAKE and SET A TIME FOR A DEDICATED “ART DATE” – WITH YOURSELF
In the book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity the author Julia Cameron provide a simple technique to stuck artists. Intentionally set regular “art dates” with yourself. Write those dates down in your calendar, add to your “to do list”, set phone reminders for yourself – essentially do what you need to do to spend time nurturing your creative self.
Maybe you can check in at work – see if you have a personal day or a paid day off – and use it. Take a three day weekend for yourself. On your day off, wake up early, tend to the things you need to tend to, and then take off. Go to your favorite art museum or gallery. Go on a nature hike with your camera and take pictures. Take a notebook with you. Jot down the colors you see, sketch out the shapes, If you visit a museum or gallery, write down and describe the art that inspired you, and why.
If art is part of your spiritual practice, find time to add a ten minute meditation or a 15 minute yoga class to your date. Maybe you have a reserve of spiritual books to turn to.
My favorite book is God in all Worlds, an anthology of contemporary spiritual writings from all spiritual writers of many traditions. This book has traveled with me for over twenty years – I always find inspiration for the journey in it’s pages.
REVIEW and PLAY
Did you know, you can find inspiration studying your own art?
Take some time and journey back to your own beginning. Look at photos of your art from your early days (or your actual art pieces if they are still around). What motivated you to study and begin creating art in the first place? What artists fed your soul when you were beginning? Recall an art partner, an early art teacher, or an art book that got you started. What made that time in your life special and how did it open you up to becoming an artist?
If you still have your old art books around – get out the ones you haven’t looked at in a while. What techniques did they teach you? Get our your art tools and re-experiment with techniques from your past. Play around with them.
Reviewing your own personal artist journey will remind you of why and how you got started in the first place. You will find that your own artistic journey is actually very inspiring,
Maybe, you will even find yourself thinking “Wow! Have I come a long way!”
MAKE and USE PROMPTS
Make prompts on brightly colored paper- cut them out and put in a cup or bowl.
Once you have your art table set up, pull one prompt out of the cup. Set a timer for 6 minutes. Follow the prompt and play. After 6 minutes, pull out a new prompt. Play and repeat until you’ve filled your canvas with shapes, color, texture. Take as much time as you need.
When you feel done, stop! Let the art work dry for a while. Do something else.
When you are ready, go back to the art. Look at it, examine it, but don’t judge. Stand back. What images do you see within the art you’ve created? Is there a portion of the painting you think you can work with? What do you like? What don’t you like? Mark up the portions you don’t like with an oil pastel. Remove by adding another layer of paint on those sections you dislike. Use more prompts.
Let yourself play and create.
Follow these tips and (trust me) you will discover that:
YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST INSPIRATION!!
Peace, my friends! Peace and love to you!