Friday, February 16, 2007

Studio Friday - Drawing a blank

This week's Studio Friday is about "creative block"-- drawing a blank:

"It's one of the most feared events in the life of an artist. Sometimes it can take a long time to overcome this sudden stop of the creative juices. What do you do? How do you act and react? How do you get back to splashing around in all colours? Do you fight it or work with it?"

I have to admit that in some areas of my creative life (cough-writingfiction-cough), I've let this stop me from even trying, anymore. (I guess I need to work on that...) Or rather, I let fear of not doing well enough stop me from even starting. (To tell the truth, it's been so long that I don't even feel like writing fiction, these days. I once loved it, though, and I have a feeling the old love is still in me, somewhere...) The key thing I have to remember with all artistic pursuits is that nothing will just "come to me". I won't be sitting around one day and then suddenly have an idea that I know will yield great results. It's always a game of uncertainty, and if I can't accept that and move forward in good faith, nothing will ever happen-- good or bad.

But that was just a little something for my own benefit-- it had little to do with the topic. (g)

So, a sudden cessation of the creative impulse... I think the first thing I do is just wait a little while and see if it will come back on its own. I focus my attentions on some other area of my life until I find myself running back to my comfortable creative niche. Usually, these things will pass on their own, I think. While I'm waiting, however, I can hurry things along by taking one of a number of actions:
  • I find new inspiration while looking at the work of others, so I visit on-line galleries and message boards and other websites for peoples who work with clay. Seeing what others are doing usually gives me at least one idea for something I'd like to try, myself.
  • Looking through a good project or inspiration book can also be a creative impetus.
  • I keep thick notebooks full of ideas for things I want to try, so paging through those almost always results in excitement over some technique I'd forgotten that I wanted to try.
  • Just looking over my supplies and tools-- and the things I've already made with them-- can give me a kick in the right direction. The supplies look so nice that I want to get back to using them again!
  • Possibly the best thing I can do is just turn on some music, sit down at my table, and start kneading the clay. Getting my hands on the stuff is enough to get me thinking of new things to try.

More than creative block, I find myself facing the "what do I do next" dilemma; there are simply too many possibilities to narrow it down to just one! ;o)

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