Day 29 of 31 Days of Art:
How to Get Out of a Creative Funk

Have you ever been in a creative funk?    If you haven't, you will.  In one of my online groups we were discussing this recently.   Sometimes it's a result of a shift of life's circumstances that uses most of our energy.  Sometimes it's that what we've been doing we've explored to the point that we can do it in our sleep - we're bored.   But maybe we don't want to admit it?   Sometimes it's because we feel our work isn't good enough and why bother trying.  

When I'm in a creative funk I do the following:

Use a New Medium

 A while ago I tried making monoprints with gelatin plates.  I loved it.  I want to do it again.   I had some ideas of how to combine that technique with doll-making.  

Acknowledge Life's Stressors 
and Make Art About Your Life

Maybe you're dealing with a major loss or change in your life.  Your mind is so occupied that there is no room for creativity.   In that case, use a tried and true method, and make art about the themes in your life.  Some of my best works have been me "thinking in paint" about a problem or a hope I have.  One of the themes I'm worried about right now is where my son who has autism will live in his future.  I want to envision a sense of place for him, a home.   I want to do a series of small paintings with elements of maps and homes as a way of thinking this out. 

Give Yourself Permission to Experiment

This helps you try some things without any risk, other than the paint or paper you're using.  I've been making a painting in this 31 Days of Art that I hate.   But I am learning while making it, so it's all good.   I have a way of rescuing this later if all else fails. 

Look at Others' Work

On Thursday night I went to a local exhibition called 10 by Ten.  I saw some works that were so unique.  I got an idea of an element to incorporate into my own work.  Now, this is tricky territory, and will not in any way look like that person's art when I'm done.  

Study An Artist or Art Movement In Depth

Source: via paula on Pinterest

An artist I have always admired is Wolf Kahn.  This relates to my thinking about sense of place.  I also like works by Tracy Hegelson and Kathryn Milillo.    There are similar themes involved.

Do a Different Kind of Art

If you're a visual artist, sing.
If you're a musician, paint.  
If you're a writer, draw. 

Read Other People's Writing About Creative Funks

Write About Your Creative Slump for 31 Days

Thank you Nester, for inviting us all to join in the 31 Days challenge.   Check out the other 31 Day writers here.


jenclair said...

I think everyone experiences the creative funk occasionally. For me, there seem to be cycles of intense creativity that alternate with down times. Any of your suggestions can help, and sometimes what worked once doesn't work the next time.

Maybe we may need to accept that creativity is not just "doing"--it also involves all of the PRE-doing and letting that input gestate. Knowing this doesn't mean I always accept it.

Thanks for all the inspiration you provide!

Dixie Redmond said...

Thanks, Jen. Yes, some ideas just need soaking time. :-)

Jadyn said...

I think this is such a good reminder to think out of the box sometimes! I will need to remember this next time I feel stuck.

Lorraine Young Pottery said...

I just found your blog :-} great site.
I'm off to have a look around.

xx Lorraine xx

Onegirlruns said...

you have such an eye for amazing art.

Dixie Redmond said...

Jadyn, Lorraine and House No. 2 - Thank you! I'm glad you liked this post.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden