This 20- minute lecture by Dr. Gil Dekel is worth a listen. The feeling at the end is, “How awesome creativity is!” What is the artist really saying in each and every painting? Dr. Gekel tells us.
It’s been a long week and you are counting on having some time to create art this week-end. You are pumped, you are ready, all your supplies out, then… nothing. A big fat nothing! The Muse has left the building. Major bummer! All the planning to have this time and the inspiration has dried up. All dressed up and nowhere to go. What now?
In Twelve Steps to Stay Inspired the authors have some great ideas such as get outside, go looking for inspiration. If the Muse is gone, go looking for where she went. Do some searching in a park or the shopping mall. Drop in to a local tourist site and mingle with the tourists. Seeing things through the eyes of the tourists may change your perspective.
Listening to dreams is on Artpromotivate’s list of 20 Art Inspiration Ideas for Creativity. That is an interesting one. Can you remember what dreams you had last night? Were you too tired from the week before to even have dreams? If not what was the last memorable dream you did have? Write it down. Sketch it. Think about its meaning. See if there might be some sparks lurking down in your dreams ready to light some fire. Hopefully, you haven’t had any nightmares recently. Or maybe you have!
Smashing Magazine says if you have a regular “go to” place for inspiration, change it up. Go somewhere different. ArtistsInspireArtists.com suggests a look into what other artists are doing. Find inspiration from your peers. See what is inspiring them.
If all else fails, go to the studio and make some marks. Any marks. Taking the steps may bring out the rest. The effort will, hopefully, start to take shape. Sometimes the best things happen when feeling lost in the drought. The defenses are down and feelings dejected. You never know. There just might be a pleasant surprise waiting to show up on the canvas, paper, etc. Something wonderful may grow out of the wasteland!
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott (from The Painter’s Keys).
Artists can be hit hard in times of austerity but is it necessarily all bad? Can tough times be also, times of heightened creativity? Artists can look upon tough times as an opportunity to do new and exciting things. Break new ground. Do something not done before. Find new tools to navigate the storm.
Seeking creative ways to sell art is one method of fighting the waves. The author of Artbusiness.com states, “rather than seeing tough times as obstacles to their career success, see them as opportunities to tap into your creative strengths and reserves.” How an artist does that is as unique as the artist him/herself. Possible methods include dropping prices, changing selling venue, seeking new non-traditional methods of selling and horror of horrors, changing artistic style. It depends on what works for you and where your market is. Experiment and get creative.
The BBC News Magazine asks the question, “Do hard times equal good art?” The writer gives argument to both sides of the question. Many well known artists have lived hard lives with tough times. Others lived in the lap of luxury. Some artists, myself included, create better under pressure. Again, the answer, most likely, lies within the individual artist. With examples of both types throughout history, does it really matter? Good times or bad, the point is to carry on.
Some artists deal with the storms of tough times by turning them into their work. Looking at the incredible energy of Joseph M. W. Turner’s ships in stormy waters, it appears the painter knows a thing or two about storms. Though Turner achieved success with his painting, his personal life was not without turbulence mainly during his childhood, (read more here). Perhaps his storm painting was, at least partially a metaphor for his own personal storms.
To get through stormy weather, it seems the best action is to seek navigational tools by digging ever deeper into creativity. And after the storm, smooth sailing ahead!