Saturday, December 20, 2008

Overcoming Artistic Block

This year was a hectic one for me. I participated in over 16 shows (most of them 3 days long), wrote tutorials, taught classes, volunteered nearly every day at my son's school, fought some major illnesses -- it's no wonder I'm tired!

I also make nearly half my income in the last three months of the year, so every single day (and most of the night) I'm making jewelry, selling jewelry, or shipping jewelry. If I thought I was tired before, I'm even more so during those crazy days, and the inevitable happens -- I get major artistic block.

This kind of artistic block starts with my never, ever wanting to see another bead or piece of wire again. My work bench, for the first time all year, gathers dust. I find myself with loads of time and I have to actually think about how to fill it.

It's lovely!

This annual artistic block doesn't frighten me, though. I know that in about a month, I'll be right back at it, preparing for another year. But right now, I'm enjoying things I didn't have time for before -- knitting, reading a book in the local coffee shop, taking my son to museums, and on occasion, playing a video game. A month later, my brain will have been rested and rejuvenated, and I'll venture back to the bead cabinet.

(And oh yeah. I take this time to really clean my house from top to bottom. Running your own business really makes dusting and organizing seem less important!)

I think it's important to embrace artistic block. Often it's not a lack of ideas, but an abundance of ideas -- so many ideas that your brain throws up its hands and cries, "Enough already!" So rather than fight it or worry about it, take the time to do something else. Just like an athlete resting in the off-season, an artist needs to rest.

Really! Go on. Put your feet up. And you'll see new creations on in a few weeks.

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