There are so many things that we can get creatively stuck on. We can get stuck on feelings of inadequacy, on a lack of resources, on creating the perfect thing, on making sure that something is received a certain way. But all of these things take attention away from the fact that making good work often means that you have to focus on simply making a lot of work, whatever that work may be.Read More
Ever felt stuck in a creative rut? Ever really just wanted to prove something to someone? Ever felt completely ignored and wanted to burn all your materials in a giant heap of cathartic flame? Well I have too, and I'm here to tell you that all of your reasons for making (or not making art) are probably wrong.
Examine the lists below, and see if something feels familiar.
bad reasons for making art
- to prove someone wrong
- to achieve fame or wealth
- to make someone jealous
- because it's "cool"
- to “be the best”
If you're making art for some kind of crazy image-enhancing scheme or external motivation, you are going to burn out eventually. Someone you're trying to impress may not even be worthy of your efforts! Don't make art because it's impressive to do so.
bad reasons to quit making art
- there's no money in it
- there's a lot of it out there already
- someone else is better at it than you
- no one's noticed
- it's a "waste of time/money"
- "I have nothing to say”
Just because "it's been done before," or you're not as good at it as someone else is a poor excuse, undermining the beauty of doing a thing for the sake of doing it. Everyone has a right to make the art they want to make, and they have their own story to tell. DO IT.
Feeling stuck? You may just need a brief creative reset!
There's no shortage of inspiration on the internet; this we all know. There is so much information to ingest & digest that one can easily become overwhelmed. But being intentional about what I choose to consume is my goal with all types of media; I want to make sure I'm fueling my life with things that will engage me, make me think deeply about my creative practice and the world around me.Read More
A technique I like to use to get myself to move work forward is the creative sprint. Most times, sprinting towards a finish line comes pretty naturally when working towards an exterior deadline--a show, a fair, or a promised delivery date.
But many times I'm simply making work for myself, or maybe I'm trying to experiment with something and am struggling with motivation. The key for me is to simply re-frame my working questions to make a tiny artificial deadline for myself.Read More
Working as a creative, sometimes you seize the moment where an idea strikes you. Working as a creative parent, sometimes you seize the moment (or minutes) that you're gifted. I wake early and grab 10 minutes with some paint and splash it on a few pieces of paper.
I grab an interesting-looking weed by the side of the road to make a print of later.
Over lunch, I doodle in my sketchbook.
I grab that weed and make a print, rinsing it out right before I go pick up the kids at school.
In a quiet spell before I begin making dinner, I lay a few paint strokes down.
I drag my kids into the art show opening for the length of the attention span of my youngest child.
Before bed, I draft an idea for another print variation to try tomorrow.