Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dealing With Creative Slumps

One of the reasons why I surround myself with what I Love is so that it will fuel Creativity and foster Positive Energy to draw upon for Inspiration and Creating my Art...

But quite often, in spite of Creating an Atmosphere where Creativity should and could flourish, I still have to deal with Creative Slumps.

And no amount of Beautiful things... Ideal Weather... Encouragement or requests by others to Create my Art can snap me out of the Creative Dry Spells... they just have to run their course.

And in spite of deadlines and Commissioned pieces that I know must be finished and I feel guilty for putting off... and keeping Dear people waiting upon a finished piece I can present and they've been patiently waiting upon... I just have to accept that having a time line in fact often kills Creativity... it just cannot be put on a deadline.

And it is precisely why I'm Thankful and Glad that I don't do my Art for a Living and Creating has never been about the money to me!  Because most definitely I'd be that Starving Artist... and not because I have unsold pieces!!!  But more often because I have to be talked into Creating pieces to sell or finish a piece that is Ordered and is taking forever and a day to complete!!!  *LOL*

In fact I'm that Crazy Artist that Friends & Family scold because I'm frequently talking potential Clients out of placing orders for my Art because I just know its going to take me so long to get around to it!  *Smiles*

And I'm even more frequently refusing to take Special Orders at all because its just too much pressure and stress to attempt to Create with any semblance of a deadline or line up with someone else's Vision for a piece. 

And I'm to the point where I don't even wear or carry anything I've made myself so that I don't risk someone asking about it or wanting one!   I'd rather carry around the Beautiful Wearable Art that my other Artist Friends are so prolific and Talented at making a Living from and referring potential Clients to them instead... and to my Friends & Family that makes no sense at all. *Smiles*  I wish making money off of my Art could be sufficient motivation... but it is not.

You're turning away Business they say... and to be sure they are my biggest Supporters and Promoters and Source of Encouragement to be that full time Artist that they would like me to become and feel confident I could Succeed at.  So why can't I?  It is a Mystery really... I am so Blessed that my Inner Circle has such confidence in me & my ability, I am flattered that my Art has been so well received & appreciated by Clients and potential Clients, so that's not the problem at all... I have every opportunity & encouragement afforded to me.

And I just wondered sometimes if I was the only one with this problem?  This obstacle?  Did other Artists struggle with this and wrestle with this dilemma too?  Did their Creative Side give them this much Drama & be so Temperamental and Uncooperative at times? Or was it just me?

It just appeared that most Artists I know, either in the Land of Blog or personally, well, they could Produce so much fabulous Art that I stood in awe & was greatly impressed!  Did they never have Creative Slumps or Artistic Blocks I wondered?  How do they do it?!?!?!?

They could fill Orders promptly, efficiently... and fill Shops & Shows with Magnificent Creations all day long it seems!!!!!  Whereas my Creations were more like giving Birth... literally... because you could have a Baby quicker than it often took me to finish even one piece!  {Ask those who might have a Special Order of mine, they can Testify to that fact... this is no exaggeration my Friends!  Le Sigh}  I'm wondering if this Rose is fading fast?  Should I just call it a day when the Creative Juices haven't been flowing in forever and a day? 

Because certainly there have been times in my Life where I have packed up my Art Supplies for years at a time and not Created anything for lack of being Inspired enough to want to do it or I was "Off" instead of "On" and I knew it... so I had to patiently wait until I was "On" again... however long that may be?!?

Because it's not as if I don't Love Creating or Love Art... everywhere I look I see potential Creations waiting patiently to Manifest!  And Lord knows I've got stashes of these potential Creation Supplies waiting upon me! *LOL*

And even more of them swirling around inside my Head!   And yet I can often feel as Lazy about Art and Creating as Mr. Morris is about taking incessant Cat Naps in his new inherited Cat Bed! *Winks*  I'll know I SHOULD and COULD Create... but so often I just don't FEEL LIKE IT!

And I wrestle with... should I FORCE myself?  The Crew here seem to think so... The Son laments that he could sell my bags all day long IF ONLY I'd make some up to hawk!  *LOL*   Unfortunately, you see, I have Samples in my old Art Studio that he's now living in and his Friends keep asking if there's a Bag they can buy or if they can place an Order... and if not, WHEN?  *Sigh*

And it does make me feel like a bit of a Slacker.  I mean, seriously, the few pieces I Create each year are a pathetic production attempt really and its not as if we couldn't use the Blessing of me Selling pieces that people want to buy... IF ONLY I had made any to Sell and didn't constantly avoid even taking orders!!!  *Even bigger Sigh!*

And sure... there are the legitimate Life Issues, physical limitations, obstacles and excuses I could use and often are a major Source of hindering my Creativity & ability to give Art a Priority... it hasn't exactly been our best years and there has been much to deal with and has interrupted even the best made Plans and activities.  It is difficult to get or keep your Rhythm when things keep going all to Hell and you're having Crisis Marathons!  *LOL*

Yet I suspect that even in a Perfect World and under Ideal Conditions I might still struggle with dealing with Creative Slumps and the periods of total lack of Enthusiasm to sit down and Produce anything?  In fact I'm sitting here Blogging instead of working on a piece that I want to get done by TOMORROW... yes, TOMORROW!  *LOL*  And it has brought me some Comfort to see Confessions here in the Land of Blog from other Artists that do have this same affliction and a Tortured Artistic Soul at times...

And for those of you who aren't Artists and might have no idea what I'm talking about... I liken it to looking around at Housekeeping you NEED to do... WANT to do because its in you to have things in Order and Clean... but you don't get around to it... you put it off... can't even seem to force yourself to get to at times and it disturbs you... but oddly not enough to Act upon it and rectify the situation!  Yeah, I do THAT too... *Winks* {BTW: This is my fav Print because it looks like my Dear Mom Modeled for it! Only Mom looks more Youthful even at 80 years... and she'd be wearing something totally Boheme' and Fashionable!  She's a Senior Fashionista!  LOL}  

And yeah, you know that EVENTUALLY it will get done and happen... you just can't really say exactly WHEN?  And you are embarrassed and maybe even a little ashamed of yourself for putting it off, making excuses, apologizing for it... wrestling with it constantly... wondering if there's something wrong with you because you're wired like this & most folks seem to be able to do it more effortlessly and proficiently or productively?

But on the upside... when you FINALLY manage to crawl out of the Creative Slump... things turn out Beautifully... and that is why I keep on keeping on with it... and keep beholding or surrounding myself with that which Hopefully continues to Inspire me towards starting or finishing my own Creations...

And I Hope that maybe if you can relate to this Post that perhaps this Confession has Blessed you from the Arizona Desert... where I'm finally coming out on the other side of the most recent frustratingly long Creative Slump...  No, you are not alone... there are others apparently like us and maybe this is not so abnormal after all?!  *Winks*

And I particularly Thank those of you who have endured my extended delays... and been patient, understanding and so kind about it... you know who you are...

And it always feels so good when the Creative Juices start flowing properly again and I'm in the Zone... almost like a Rebirth after a long dormant Hibernation!  {And if any of you have been there you know what I'm talking about!  Smiles}

Hallelujah... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Here's a thought... Perhaps colaborating with someone would help. You have all these wonderful ideas and perhaps if you partnered with someone (a craftsperson with a higher level of technical skill) to take your ideas/designes and the supplies/treasures you provide to flesh out and realize your design vision. This is done in all forms and sorts of Fine Arts, Arts and Crafts. Just a tought.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  2. Queenie's excellent suggestion/solution is one that I have had others suggest and I am considering... just don't have a Peace yet about just Designing my Art and handing it over to someone else to actually Create and flesh out... but eventually I foresee that it could be something I may move forward with when the Peace comes about it. Thanks Queenie for weighing in with a great idea!

    Dawn... The Bohemian

  3. I have some furniture sitting around that I need to get painted to sell, but am losing my mojo because I can not chose a color! I mean, goodness!! I know a certain color seems to work more than others for me when selling, but I think I am bored with it. Then when I try a different color, it does not sell. So now, I am ready to donate those same pieces back to the place I bought them from, because I am tired of looking at them!!

    I like Queenie's suggestion too. You have created beautiful pieces. Maybe people paying for it takes the fun out of it for you? I find for me, if I know someone loves something I found and was going to sell, I am much more happy to GIVE it to them!! Something about the giving part for me I guess. Or if I know they are looking for something, and I come across it, I just love that I can tell them and give it to them.

    By the way, I love your booth. Stopped in BA yesterday while I was on that end of town. I will be back......

  4. I can't imagine that you are EVER in a creative slump!

  5. Well, personally....I come to your blog for stimulation.

    Just have to tell you, I have the same picture as you do (about the third one up from the bottom. Ours in under glass, quite large - I'm too lazy to get up and measure - and in a more ornate frame than yours, but unmistakeably the same picture.

  6. And personally, I think all truly creative people have the same struggle you are expressing here. Writers, writing blocks, etc. For me, guilt and introspection are killers and adversarial to what is pure creativity (as opposed to disciplined production).

    By the way, is there any reason why you're not selling "the samples"?

  7. I used to do more "hands-on" creating a few years ago. I have a big family and with the demands, I just couldn't keep up with "my hobbies"--I STILL NEED a creative outlet. That's when I turned to photography. I have always been an avid "picture-taker" but that's it. It wasn't until I came to AZ that I started this creative path. I do understand the slump..I have been there in one way or another. I don't like deadlines--when put under the gun, I do not produce well. When given by own time allotment, the end result is much better.

    Dont' beat yourself up too much--sometimes you just need a fresh perspective--go to art museums, spend some time in nature, or try some books at the library (different sources of inspiration)..hope that helps. Have a great day!

  8. I hear you...I have been going through the same I stopped and shifted gears...I painted some stairs & took a break from especially one project...nothing was going well with it is sleeping in a corner right now...

    the other ladies had a great suggestion though of putting your vision with another artist...actually my hubby & I do that alot...I will have an idea and he can create it for me, even putting some of his ideas to work as well......

    Great post as always and this one spoke to my soul....thanks Dawn



A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl