Welcome back to my blog! hope to help you understand how the creative process works when you get stuck and cannot seem to progress with an idea.
Art is not something you can force out of yourself. We all have funky days. Have you noticed? However there are ways to stay connected to that intuitive right side of the brain where all your creativity is born. The answer is to USE it even when you are in a funk.For those of you who have a generational gap and cannot quite get the meaning of ‘being in a funk’, it means your creative right brain feels slumped, unproductive, sluggish. Yet, you want to be stimulated to create again! Here are some ideas on how to break through.
Your will not FEEL like doing anything but sulking. Be assured that it is normal to feel this way in a funk. Just don’t wallow in it! Try journaling about your feelings at this time. Writing uses the left brain for language symbols (letters) but draws upon the right creative side to think ‘out of the box’. Create symbols for your feelings. You can relate them to simple images like clouds over the sun; an ant crawling in the grass; sitting on a dime to express, “I feel lower than a dime right now”.
Draw images in the process of journaling too, right next to the words. Use vivid nouns and verbs that are not ordinary to you; add adjectives and adverbs that are descriptive words that amplify meaning to your writing like: buoyant. Voila! You can sift out an image from these words!
Feelings can be connected to symbolic images as well. Make a list of feeling words in your sketchbook that relate to where you are in this moment of your life. Put a visual symbol to your word. These may be personal only to you and misunderstood by others. That’s O.K.
The idea is to gently lead you out of the funk. Sometimes, I need to do something for others. Right now, I am volunteering to help young cancer patients at the local hospital, to draw their feelings and frustrations on paper, or even their hopes! I am very excited about this and excitement feeds my creativity.
I am strongly motivated by color. I will purposely force myself to paint a small painting using bright pinks, yellow-greens, oranges and turquoise. These colors really stimulate me and make me feel happy. I have no big plan on what to do with them. Maybe someday I will use parts of them in a collage.They just get filed into my “To Be” portfolio of ideas, torn paintings, playful painting and drawings. My work on experimenting with new mediums also goes in this file. This portfolio comes out when I am in a funk. Well, actually my storage is in a drawer in my studio.
Sometimes, I need to get rest because I have been too busy. I know one thing about creativity. It wears out when you wear out. It shuts down when you are under pressure. Really! Creating should be like a vacation. It is the place you catch your breath. My high school students used to call my art studio, “The Refuge”. It was where they could unwind after Trigonometry soaked up their brain! When you create it should be a release, not work. Relax, breathe, close your eyes, think of something silly like two ridiculous words together, like ‘sandal-mouth or toe-teeth’. Then, draw it. Now do another. Play, laugh and feel the tension drain out of you. Then, quietly think of what you really desire to
say in a new artwork and begin to sketch your idea. Blessings!