My He(ART)-Full Life

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

getting out of a (creative) rut: day #30

Ruts!!! How I hate them...but I accept it as part and parcel of the creative process...of life, really. Part of the ebb and necessary as breathing. Oftentimes, being in a rut has facilitated extraordinary aha moments and an abundance of work. can feel pretty frustrating being stuck, stuck, stuck!! I wanted to share a few ways I ease some flow through these periods.
* do something new every single day. It can be super simple like going on a  different walking route or it can be something much more daring sign up for a samba class!! There are artist dates, online classes, reading  a book in a genre I would never normally do, taking an online class, wearing  a color I normally don't, trying out a new art product. ...the possibilities are endless here. i remember when I started my blog over 3 years felt like a huge leap into the unknown full of fear and trepidation...but now it all seems as natural as the sun + the moon. The whole point is to take myself out of my ordinary surroundings and expand the breadth of my life so I am exposed to something new and different. One step leads to another; each small action leads somewhere this way we can create a whole new map of where we want to go...and new possibilities open  up to us.It doesn't have to be big, friends; it can be the smallest of acts!
* As much as newness counts..I also need routine and stability. It's the framework and foundation for trying out the new stuff. So...I pick a few things and commit to it (no matter what!). They can be ongoing (working out) or for a short duration (say... a blog challenge for  a month!). It can also be as simple as my morning coffee, writing in my journal everyday, taking 15 mins. completely to myself, going on a photowalk. Simple or complicated...I find it doesn't matter at all; it's the stability that counts. To me, routine is just as important as the excitement of trying out new things.

                                                   (playing with some of Tara's tempera paints!)
* Take a complete break!!! sometimes this seems counter intuitive to me. I have been stuck in awfully long + frustrating ruts where I try to force myself into my studio to work and ...nothing happens!! It just makes it that much worst! So...I have discovered that taking a complete break (a few days to an entire month or more) takes me to  a different space and gets me out of  a rut. last summer, I took a full month off painting and started reading instead...that led me to create an art journal inspired by the writings of Audre Lorde, which I then submitted to Somerset Art Journal...which led to being published. So, friends..while it may seem like it's a waste of time to take a not true!!
* Have a creating schedule and stick to it!!! With Tara growing up and needing more of my time and attention, it's more important than ever for me to create a painting schedule. If I wait to inspiration to strike...I'll never get to work!!! So..I make up a schedule at the start of each week and stick to it as much as possible. Of course, I also use up 15 mins. here and there (they all add up too).

* Play!!!! Have fun, play, turn everything upside down and start from there!!! This one seems almost too good to be true but I find that once I start experimenting and letting go...of expectations, of what I want my painting to look like...of what I think my painting should look like, of trying to recreate what's in my head ...that's when I can get stuck! But just having fun..going with the flow, knowing that everything can be covered up (hello, gesso and collage!!!) leads me to my best work. Perfectionism, I have found, is the enemy of creating!!!
Well, friends...those are my tips for getting out of  creative rut...but really, it can be any kind of rut, I suppose. Do you have any tips to share, I would love to hear what they are.

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