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Help! Terminal Artist's Block Is Eating My Brain

Does anybody have any tips or techniques for breaking out of  a spell of artist's block? I've been somewhat uninspired for a couple of months now, and it's making me crazy. I'm dying to create something, but every time I go out to the studio, I just wind up staring at the tools & materials for an hour or so, getting frustrated and leaving. I've tried just starting to work in the hopes that the materials would tell me where they wanted to go, but the results have been less than satisfying.

If it's helpful, my current areas of interest are kiln glass (with an emphasis on recycling old bottle & window glass) and copper enameling.

What have others done to get out of a creative slump? Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

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overblast4 years ago
Here's a poem:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I enameled my thumb
cuz I love you

Please take me to the E.R., I really have to get this enamel off my thumb....
overblast4 years ago
just do ***something***. ANY thing. Just enamel a tiny thing.

Challenge yourself. Can I do ... THIS?
Can I enamel.... my CAT?
Can I enamel... my HAT?
What's wrong with that?

Be like a child and get yourself in trouble... Enamel a love poem to someone. Steal the poem, the idea is to get your neural networks firing.

Steal the neighbors flowers too, 'cause that will make it that much sweeter to your sweetie.

Koosie7 years ago
This may sound a bit stupid, but try improving your balance on a wobble or roller board.  Seriously, this helped me a lot!

Check this link: this one

You'll see this under "Uses and User's":

"Uses of a balance board that are distant from the athletic purpose of its origin have gradually become more common: to expand neural networks that enable the left and right hemispheres of the brain to communicate with each other, thereby increasing its efficiency; to develop sensory integration and cognitive skills in children with developmental disorders; to make dancers lighter on their feet; to teach singers optimal posture for the control of air-flow; to teach musicians how to hold their instrument; to look glamorous; to shake off writer's block and other inhibitors of creativity; as an accessory to yoga and as a form of yoga, cultivating holistic health, self-awareness and calm."

It's easy to build one, heck, I built my own one!  Nothing amazing, but it does the job.

Anyway, hope this helps.

craftyv Koosie6 years ago
Dear Koosie, you are spot on. Your suggestions do have great merit and are gradually becoming more accepted as a means to re-ignite the brain. Love your ideas and the site you mention as it is so good for so many uses. Great work.
caitlinsdad7 years ago
Browse through instructables, go to museums, watch TV, browse through books, magazines, go for a walk in a different neighborhood - drive through if it is not safe...

If you do your Art for a living or business, then you would need think a little different to make your pieces profitable.  But back to your question, if you try to expand your cultural knowledge, maybe you might get some new inspiration.  For example, if you are into pottery or ceramics, you could look at Japan, which takes a different approach than say Central American cultures, and there is a Scandanavian approach too. Look at what people with the material you like to work with do in lands far away.  Can you incorporate it into something outside of your normal bounds, jewelry to lampshades to stained glass murals.  Scale it up or down from dollhouses to garden sculpture. Meld it with technology - light it up with LEDs, steampunk it, think about what new tools would help and maybe try something new like a welder or soldering iron. Look at other regular paint techniques and see what happens when you try to vary it.  Make something fun and outrageous every once in a while.

Then again, I dunno.  Good luck.
RavingMadStudios (author)  caitlinsdad7 years ago
Thanks for the ideas. I had already been looking at the work of other glass artists and the glass work of other cultures, but not at any non-glass work. Your suggestions make me wonder if maybe there's inspiration to be found in other forms of art that would translate to glass. For instance, a Japanese watercolor painting aesthetic, but rendered in opaque and transparent enamels on clear glass. This definitely bears looking into. Thanks again for the nudge!
What came first the art or the business? Perhaps you have become stuck because you are having to match your passion, how you feel and create as an artist, to a need to (sell) for your business and maybe they can't be combined without some adjustment to either your art or your business. Can you create a market for your works whether really commercial or not? Can you use business methods to select key items that always sell and work on them for a % of your time , then spend the rest of your time on your passion, without restrictions or any constraints . If you think about it very few artists throught history have been good business people. Perhaps you can also look at your personality and how you deal with anything in your life. Are you an organised step by step person or are you a jump in and muddle through type. You probably can't be creative and be "working" in the opposit manner. Would you be happy if someone else designed and you made the pieces? My experience in various training and business methods leads me to think in this way so please add them to your ideas for "change". Best of luck.
3-D Tsunami Wave, in glass!  Cherry blossoms are coming in season...
RavingMadStudios (author)  caitlinsdad7 years ago
I like the way you think. If you're ever in The Hellmouth, drop by and hang out in the studio for a while. I have beer.
teckner7 years ago
Try out the ganzfeld experiment. This may sound weird, or maybe not your style. It is, essentially, letting your brain loose altogether. BTW, the ganzfeld experiment is the method of using very basic (and easy) sensory depravation to allow yourself to hallucinate. Before you try, spend time only around stuff you made, or other you related artwork, so your "hallucinations" are inspiration involved.
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