Recently, I was reading a string on a craft blog basically supporting the view that in order to produce good art, one must be suffering or sad or depressed. When a person experiences loss or grief the mind fills with creative ideas and the need to express the emotional pain through art or craft. The person leading this discussion said that since she had found a wonderful man to be with her life had settled down and she was the happiest she has ever been. The problem is that now she is having trouble creating and coming up with ideas.
I think this view is an unhealthy one. To rely on drama or tragedy to provide a muse to create really is a cop out. Being an artist or crafter is something that you either are or aren't. You aren't going to create great art if you don't get in the studio and start working....on anything. That's right...anything. If you don't get in there and pick up the tools and start making something, nothing creative will have a chance to happen. Sometimes just starting will take us to places we never could have imagined. It is okay to give ourselves permission to be happy and celebrate joy in our work. We don't always have to express something dark and complicated. We don't always have to scream for the world to hear what we have to say. Happy can be just as deep as sad. Inspiration can be found in anything.
This glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly can be found on his website. This sculpture portrays fun, joy, and happiness.
Sometimes what we make when we think there is no muse can be so profound. Try committing to 10 minutes of activity in the studio. Let what you make be intuitive with no intentions and no conditions. Just make something. Maybe just do an exercise. For example, say you will make something only using blues. Or, maybe make something using only one tool or one material. Do something totally in the realm of play. Take time to play, and your work will become richer and more interesting. We are so blessed to have the gift of being able to work with our hands, creating something out of nothing. Even the things we make that never get sold or given away have purpose. Every piece we make leads us to the next piece, and the next. If we avoid the studio because the idea hasn't been delivered to your front door, you are missing opportunities. The idea will probably only be delivered if you are in the studio working, ready to receive it.