As lovely as that sounds, we all know that will never happen. Personally, I can go for months without anything turning out as I had imagined. It can be very upsetting, which results in me sitting on my couch, not even attempting to work on anything creative. What’s the point, if it’s just going to turn out poorly? Sound familiar? We all go through dry spells and ruts. Every one of us goes through periods where nothing turns out right and so we begin to question everything.
For me, being surrounded my so much inspiration on a daily basis can send me into a rut. It’s easy for me to see all of the fabulous incoming artwork and start to doubt my own art, or begin to compare myself to other artists. It’s a dangerous game to play, and it’s one that I’m trying my hardest to stop myself from engaging in.
Whenever I start feeling doubt creep up, or if I notice I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with my art, I go to my special place. I think it’s so important that each of us have that one special place that never ceases to calm and inspire us. For me, it’s the downtown area of where I live. Just a five-minute walk from my house is the antiques district of Orange, California. The streets are lined with antique stores and delicious restaurants, all of them giving off that old-town charm that made me want to live where I do.
Simply strolling through the antique stores recharges my creative batteries. Whenever I wander through the different stalls, I’m instantly inspired by the bundles of vintage textile, the crackled furniture, the feel of old paper. Usually after spending just a few minutes doing this, I can hardly wait to get home and get to work. Just being in a place that fills me with utter joy is all I need.
What do you do when you need to step back and recharge? I’d love for you to send me your ways of working through artistic ruts. Perhaps together, we can help others work through them.
Christen Olivarez is Director of Publishing for Stampington & Company and Editor-in-Chief of Somerset Studio, the top-ranked magazine for mixed-media and paper artists. Her blog posts appear on CreateMixedMedia.com every other Tuesday.
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