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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Finding inspiration Even When it Seems to Elude You

I know of some artists that can paint or draw on demand, but I find that I have never been one of these individuals. Yet despite this, I do think that it is good to sometimes force yourself to do something creative, sometimes even when you don't feel like it.  Apart from being a good creative habit to develop, esp for those individuals that struggle with meeting deadlines, it can also be a way to explore your inner habitat. 

If you find yourself struggling, consider just taking your pad and some pencils outside, or into your living room. Don't attempt to make a "painting"  you are going for nothing more than creative stretching. If it becomes more, so be it, but just relax.  Find something that has an interesting shape or texture and focus on re-creating that texture. Again, don't be tempted to "make something" or you might find yourself blocked up. For me this is often sketching cat faces or painting loose animal faces.  Wherever it leads, try not to fight it.
This pastel sketch is a result of working when I wasn't really feeling up to it. I'm fairly pleased with it, and may work it into a more serious piece.

For some artist this may progress to a daily painting, which is not only great practice, but a good way to get your art out there.  If you don't fight it, making yourself work even when you don't feel like it at the time is a great way to sharpen skills, and the sketches you make could even find their way into more serious work.

If you need more inspiration, you might try reading some ideas in books. The Artists Way by Julia Cameron is a wonderful source of inspiration. Julia suggests blogging, artist dates and a variety of other tools. I have used this book, and highly suggest to anyone looking to find more creativity in their lives, regardless of their artists bent.

Other books such as Living the Creative life also draw inspiration from life.  Working even when you don't feel like can become a place of inspiration in itself. When you allow yourself to just go with the experience, without forcing a final product, you may find a whole new creative experience awaits you.

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