Friday, February 22, 2008

Getting back on track

Those of us who craft or make art know that it really is a process. Our creative expression comes out in whatever we are making, no matter what medium. Sometimes people in our lives bring us down, or maybe an illness or event has sucked the energy out of you and now you don't feel like being in the studio. You feel like there will never be another creative moment. Or, maybe you just think anything you make is going to suck, because you are in a bad place right now. How do you deal with that? How do you get back on track? What is your habit when things don't go well? Habit? Yes, habit. We all have that thing we know I am right. It might be sleep a lot, it might be eat a whole pie in one day (I've done this). Maybe it's veg in front of the TV for hours, letting time pass and hoping on the other side of the door your materials will jump around, be happy to see you, and tell you what to make next. The negative energy and attitudes always affect your work and make your time in the studio unproductive. Spend some time thinking about this, and ask yourself, "How is this helping?" It is important to accept whatever the situation is. But then, processes it, and make efforts to move past it. One of the best things you can do as an artist is visit another artist's studio. It doesn't even need to be the same medium or type of art that you yourself make. All of us go through this, and it is very validating to spend time with other artists talking to them about their process. Plus, for me anyway, I always walk away with a new concept of how materials can be used, or the desire to become more skilled in some way. We may not think so, but all artists and crafters have a well a mile deep filled with ideas, we just don't know it. We need a catalyst to trigger the idea and bring it up and out of our well. Other things that I do when I am having a hard time are surfing for fun things online, putting random words into the search box on Flickr and seeing what comes up, looking for a webcam that is located in a tropical or fun area, or of someone doing a craft I can't do. I like to go to fabric stores and look at all the buttons and baubles. I can be equally happy in a paper craft store. The best thing I have found on the internet, by far, is Craftcast with Allison Lee. She does a weekly podcast speaking with artists and crafters about their creative process, the things they make, how they started making what they make, etc. If nothing else, the theme song will cheer me up. It makes me want to dump all my craft stuff (about two tons) on the floor and have a crafting frenzy! If you go to her site, click on "listen" which is included with the posts that have podcast interviews. Be patient. It takes a few minutes to load. It is worth the wait, I promise. Just something to think about. Find things that make you smile or bring intrigue, and you will have more productive time in the studio. It will stimulate growth in your designs. And best of all, you will be back on track, feeling your fabulous self again.

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