Wallowing a bit

by Libby on April 4, 2008

If you have spent any time reading my blog, you will realize by now that my art comes in fits and starts. Right now I’m in a prolonged period of inactivity. I think it’s one of the challenges of a non-working artist. I don’t have show deadlines or orders to push me into making work. I have to push myself, and that can be pretty difficult at times.

Lately, I’ve been succumbing to all the “static” around me. You know, all that day-to-day stuff like appointments, errands, kid ferrying etc. etc. etc. I haven’t done anything creative in weeks. I can’t even claim I am channeling some of my creative energy into blog writing as I have done precious little writing too. Spring is a tough time with its on again off again sunshine and bouts of cold damp. Surely I can’t be the only artist who wallows a bit in the mental mud of March and April?

Well, I am determined to drag myself out of it today.

Yesterday, my sister and I were discussing Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit. She’s been reading it, and it sounds like a book I need to pick up. The concept that you need to make going into the studio a regular habit is something I really need to put into action. I also liked the idea of developing some kind of “stretching” exercise to start off a session in the studio. These aren’t new ideas, but I think I’ve heard them enough by now that it has finally sunk in. I need to stop thinking about all this stuff and start doing… SOMETHING.

So, the plan for today is to stop beating myself up for my current lethargy, and all the things I wish I had done, and just get down into the studio for a bit of time in between the appointments and errands and kid pick ups I’ve got scheduled today. It’s a particularly broken up day and it’s going to be a challenge. Too much chaos in my studio can be a block in and of itself, so I am going to start by simply spending time in the studio clearing out the mess left behind by Synergy prep and the Weekend of Clay prep. It’s not exactly a creative activity, but at least I’ll be spending some time in the studio. It’s a start.

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{ 8 comments }

Susan April 4, 2008 at 8:35 am

God, do I get it! I’m having such a hard time and trying to decide if I should enter a fair hasn’t helped! But…I just got my PolymerCafe and your earring tute is fabulous! I love your design and I especially like all the new (to me) techniques you used. I can’t wait to try doing something with the squeeze bottle!

Barbara Forbes-Lyons April 4, 2008 at 8:49 am

I spent several nights this week doing much the same – finding the surface of my worktables and putting away all the detritus and supplies from the Orlando Fandango event. Tonight the pasta machine is going to get cleaned out and plugged in. Good luck with your efforts!

debbie carlton April 4, 2008 at 11:56 am

well- all i can say is it must be contagious..

i came back from Synergy with my head bursting with ideas and i quite literally don’t know where to start so for the last few weeks i’ve been pratting about in the most frustrating way. No excuses and no where to hide..drat! The irritating Nike slogan rears its head.. Just do it

A well known writer was asked what he did when writers block hit or fear of the blank page occured.. i just start writing anything- absolute bollox or just describe literally what i see out of my window and i sort of write my way into work.. maybe that’s a solution, start making any old thing-polymer clay bananas and apples- but do something..

The other funny but irritating saying i love is .. ‘be like a postage stamp, stick to one thing until you get there.. happy weekend

debbie

Karen April 4, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Hi Libby,
Yes, I’m definitely wallowing in a bunch of mental mud myself right now. Like you, I’m involved in the “static” of day to day life with me moving this month and my youngest son going into the Air Force very soon. I feel like my creativity has gone underground for awhile in favor of taking care of business on the homefront. Looking at the crocus and rock iris coming up gives me hope that my creative urge will bloom again.
Be well and enjoy your organizing,
Karen

Judy April 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Another great thing Twyla Tharp has in her book is boxes she keeps with each project she starts. She collects inspiration, partial work, whatever and puts it in the box as she begins a project. The box is a place to “store” inspiration. She may get stalled on a project and put the box away for a while, and go looking through her other boxes for where to go next. That way she always has something she can draw on. Or a place to store an idea while it begins to develop. The concept can be adapted to other methods of doing the same thing. Having more than one project going at a time, at varying stages, in varying degrees of intensity can be a way of maintaining the momentum. You are never finished. There is always another project to pick up when one starts to stall.

Libby April 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Susan, I’m glad your enjoyed my article. Playing with liquid clay is one of my favorite things to do with polymer clay. Send me a picture if you try out the technique.

Barbara, sometimes the studio chaos just gets to a crazy level, doesn’t it. I hope your cleaning efforts let you get back into the creative groove.

Libby April 4, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Debbie, I love the postage stamp quote! When I am in my studio and just can’t figure out what to do, I have found that cleaning up my space or blending colors usually spurs ideas. The biggest problem I have is actually making myself head down to the studio. I still haven’t found a solution for that invisible force field that keeps me out.

Karen you’ve really got a lot on your plate! When we were moving, I switched to knitting (and a bit of beading). Simple projects that were portable and didn’t require too much brain power helped ease the creative “itch” without the pressure of my usual work. Good luck with everything!

Judy, I just picked up the book this afternoon. I haven’t gotten to the box idea yet, but it sounds like a good idea. I’m loving the book so far. Her approach is so sensible.

Trina April 4, 2008 at 9:45 pm

And there it is! The Twila Tharp book is gathering a bit of dust whilst I finish Eat Pray Love by Liz Gilbert. Another “must read”. My studio is due for a good turning out as I have lost the samples Iris sent me from Polyform and she called today inquiring. (Luckily I wasn’t home!)

And do read Sarajane’s article in Belle this month. More good advice on keeping your inventory fresh. I know I’m tired of carting out those same old earrings.