There are many ways. Some artists express their emotions, some explore political or social views. For others it’s nature – living creatures of all sorts, botanical, geographical, meteorological. Still others are into representing humans in all their pictorial glory or perhaps still life. You must to find your own authentic muse and cultivate it.
So, how does that and fill your creative well with inspiration and enthusiasm? We all know that feeling of seemingly having nothing, absolutely nothing, that feels like our “thing”. It’s soul destroying to say the least.
Has our muse left us to our own devices? A scary proposition for some no doubt. I’ve been in that place more often than I care to remember. However, these days I seem to have reached a place where there are a reasonable amount of creative ideas waiting to be born. Fingers crossed it stays that way!
How do you do it? Does it just happen? Is it a struggle or can it come easy?
Firstly, it isn’t a struggle. Trying too hard won’t help. And no, it doesn’t just happen. It can come easily though, well, easier than you think! There are some things that can get in the way however …. perfectionism or waiting for the “right” thing or time. Better to experiment! Try things, have fun and enjoy the journey to your creative energy.
As a landscape inspired artist who also bends to the whims and wishes of my “art”, I fill my creative well as I create art. Each piece or series of pieces leads me forward. I find new inspiration and ideas in almost every piece of art I make, be it a painting or sketch. Even if the inspiration arises from a disaster!
The other way I find my muse or muses is to venture out into the landscape. Feel it, be in it, experience all that goes on. While there, I will sketch and ideas will begin to present themselves. There’s also photography, like the shots you see above. It allows you to visually capture your surroundings. What it does not do is help instil the whole experience of being IN the landscape like painting or sketching does. Even a quick scribble sketch can do that. Perhaps they capture the feeling best of all because they’re often done quickly and the marks are made with speed and abandon.
Sketches are a great way to refill your empty creative cup. The act of making a sketch or painting en plein air can be exhilarating and set your mind on track to plenty of creative ideas.
To summarise, immerse yourself in your artmaking and follow your intuition, it will lead you to your creative power.
Have you ever been plagued by being stuck, unable to move forward? Desperately wanting to run towards your dream but, somehow, unable to move. A ball and chain around your ankle perhaps.
There’s lots of advice and stuff (other than silly gifs) on the web to “assist” you in this quest! I’ve always believed that it’s really only me that can find a way around my ruts. But I get very frustrated when I get stuck again and again and end up feeling like there’s a major fault somewhere that needs fixing.
“Just do it” they say. Yeah, right! Like it’s that easy! There are any number of “solutions” out there, none of which have worked very well for me so far.
I think there are so many factors that contribute to these frustrating times that you have to be very lucky to find the right solutions for you. Our lives are so variable and different and our backgrounds just as much so. Surely “just do it” is an oversimplification. I often feel it comes from people who miraculously don’t seem to have these problems.
Yet, at the same time it seems to be one of the keys because no matter what tiny thing you start with, it’s likely to make you feel good about what you’ve done and it might lead to more action, at least in the short term.
It worked today. I chose the mindless studio job of gessoing paper. I got into the swing of it, which led to gessoing over six old paintings so I can reuse the canvases. Now I have some inspiring textured canvases to work on.
Recently, I watched a couple of videos about this problem and creativity in general.
One of them stated that you can’t keep going with self motivation alone. It later went on to say, about one of the proposed steps, that, you won’t feel like doing it, but you just have to! Wouldn’t that take motivation? Mmmm!
The same video suggested that action changes your mood. I think I would generally agree with this. Taking action means you can cross something off your list. Or, you’ve started and it’s most likely going to be easier to keep the momentum going. You might now be excited and have completed or moved closer to completing something.
The other video I watched was looking at Leonardo da Vinci’s ideas and habits around creativity. The ideas, while seemingly simple, point again to motivation plus consistency in habits.
The stand out item here for me was keeping a notebook and consistently using it for various things that were suggested. No, I don’t do it consistently!
So, to get started…..plan something vaguely motivational, however small, to get you started, take some action, write about and record it, make more plans in your notebook and….back to being motivated! Leonardo would be proud! Together, they all lead to action and hopefully the development of habits.
But what about the inevitable obstacle? Internal, external, emotional, physical and mental obstacles, out of our control or not. In my case, this puts me back to square one! The first video suggested planning for these obstacles.
But how?! Probably, the stronger, more long lived, the habit and the greater the importance we attach to it, the easier it will be to overcome obstacles?
For example, with respect to the “obstacle” above, I suspect most of us have been conditioned to feel better about our art time if we diligently put in some time using it, or a cousin, before starting our art! Only if it’s needed of course!
Obstacles come in a wide range of types and it all seems complicated. But really it isn’t, once you have a good think, you can try to brush aside the unhelpful thoughts and alter unhelpful habits! You have to try, then try some more and more again, because it doesn’t seem to be consistent or predictable and circumstances change. Habits take a while to change as well. Some sort of reliable method is needed and it probably needs to be your own. Not that of an internet guru, who when it all boils down to it, is just like you and I, but they’ve found their own way and want to spread the good word!
My advice. Find your own way folks. I’m still looking!!
I like to remember these wise words that are generally attributed to Einstein:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
I would add that it could conversely be ….
The definition of insanity is not doing something time and time again and expecting a different result!
Here’s to momentum and bliss in art!
Here’s a little “stop press” item!
It’s a very nice feeling to think six of my nine little A5 size images sold (that’s $600!) at the Mystery Art Sale in September for the children of Haiti. I received these three back today with this lovely photo and card.
Its amazing and inspirational how sometimes there can be happiness coexisting with hardship. These children are only a few of the 500 or so in the Despuzeau area which is an extremely poor region.
I have to admit I was quite skeptical about selling unframed, unmounted, anonymously presented A5 sized images for $100, but with $16,500 in sales my hesitancy was unjustified.