Creative sabotage

I’m still here.  I haven’t had much to say lately as I am practicing my usual autumnal creative sabotage.  That is, I think about projects, things I’d like to try etc., then I find all sorts of excuses not to start them.  I’m laughing at myself as I write this, because really that’s pretty pathetic behavior.  Note to self:  kick self in butt.

My blog got a nice mention in the latest International Polymer Clay Association Newsletter.  The Studio Snapshot feature got a special attention.  I’ll try to post a new one later this week.  I’ve been interested to see a proliferation of special magazines focusing on artists’ studios.  I’ve been wishing for a long time that there were more resources for seeing how other artists set up their creative spaces.  I’d love to see a magazine like Art Jewelry do a regular feature on artists’ studios.

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Buried in clutter

I am feeling a bit swallowed up by the level of mess in the studio.  I am not a neat person and I have a pretty high tolerance for clutter.  That’s a good thing considering that I am a pile maker rather than a person who immediately puts things away.  Eventually though, the piles of clutter start to weigh on me and stress me out.

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As a mom and someone who is married to a person who naturally much neater than I am, I have learned to keep the general household clutter from getting too out of hand.  The studio, however, is another matter entirely.  It’s way too easy to just pick up a pile of books or magazines etc. in the main living areas of the house and dump it in the studio.  Out of sight and out of mind.

Two things have contributed to making the mess worse than usual.  First of all, I really haven’t spent much solid working time in the studio in months and months.  But the really big mess factor comes from having gone on three different art related trips in the last 6 months that focused on three different disciplines:  polymer clay, metalwork and beading.  So each time I packed for an event, I grabbed a whole bunch of different supplies and each time I returned I just dumped things in various piles around my work area.

My studio is pretty spacious so the mess might not seem too bad in these pictures.  The fact is that I have stuff piled on every available surface.  That means no room to work at all.  Something needs to be done.  It’s going to require time and really loud music.

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I’ve had a lot of ideas I’d like to play around with both in metal and polymer clay, and I am hoping that I can clear away enough space to get working again.  Both girls are away at camp (one working and one just being a carefree camper) and I should be taking advantage of the kid-free days.

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The view from the sidelines

Note from Libby:  I wrote this post several days ago, meaning to get back to it and revise a bit.  I have been hesitant to publish it because I don’t want this blog to come across as whiny.  Creativity has an ebb and flow, and while it is harder to write about, I think examining the ebb periods is important too.  This post really isn’t about any need for support or encouragement.  This is just where I am at right now.

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So, I suppose you could say that I have fallen more than a bit behind on my blogging.  LOL  The truth is I haven’t felt like I had anything to say lately.  For most of this fall my creative pulse has been very low, to the point that lately it’s been barely detectable.  It’s kind of like sitting on the sidelines.  I’ve been watching, soaking up some of what’s going on around me, but not participating.  Oddly enough, I’m not worried about it.  Deep inside me I know it will come back, but for now I am taking in the view from the sidelines.

I do think about projects I’d like to start, but most of my ideas have been the kind which require step “A” and “B” before proceeding to step “C”, and I am only really interested in step “C”.  For example, there’s a bead embroidered bracelet design I want to play around with one of these days, but I need to make polymer clay cabs for it, and I can’t quite visualize what they should be.  It’s interesting to note, though, that the farther I step away from my creative side, the fewer ideas I have.  The flow of design ideas has definitely slowed to a trickle.

Meanwhile, I’d like to thank everyone who commented on my post about whether I should continue the Studio Snapshot series. It’s encouraging that you’ve enjoyed the Studio Snapshot series as much as I have.  I’d especially like to thank the artists who have written me to volunteer their studios for a tour.  I will be sending out the interview questions soon.  I may wait until after the holidays since everyone is busy right now.

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Great post about motivation

Thanks to Gerri Newfry for the link to this blog post by Alicia Tormey on the subject of creative motivation. It’s a fantastic post full of ideas I really need to take to heart.  It seems so obvious and yet, I have never really thought about the difference between inspiration and motivation.  While inspiration flows through me in varying waves, my basic struggle lies in a failure to motivate myself.

At some instinctive level, I know this.  I may have mentioned here that when I don’t feel particularly creative, I can jump start myself by going down into the studio and cleaning up a portion of the perpetual mess.  The act of tidying up my supplies connects me to them, and next thing I know I find myself sitting at my worktable or bench.

And I love Alicia’s idea of a creative power outfit!  Clothes have a power we don’t always recognize.  I know a really great outfit can boost my confidence and energy.  Now that I think about it, I realize that I have sloppy fall-out-of-bed-pajama type outfits that sap my energy.  It’s something I need to think about more.

Thanks for the proverbial whack on the head Gerri and Alicia!  Now if only I didn’t have to spend the day cleaning and cooking and generally preparing for the great family feast Thursday.

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