I am a painter, and I have not been feeling creative or excited about painting. I was doing well during the pandemic, and then since we started to join the world again, I have not touched any of my work. My tools sit there and it’s like I’m purposefully ignoring them. I have not even put them away! The brushes look at me and now all the art space just looks like furniture and I’m not sure how to move forward. Some people have bought my art online and I’ve shipped it to them, and it feels like I’m giving clothing away to the Salvation Army. When I used to package my art up, it was a whole experience and now it’s like BLAH. Help!??!? How do I get started again?
Dear Art Avoider,
You are NOT alone, and even though I say THAT a lot, this is a personal one for me that I resonate with. SO, here are my secrets. First of all, I want to invite in the perspective that you are right, and this shut down time is a time that work that you are not even aware of is percolating. Oooh, now isn’t that interesting? That there are creative aspects to your work that have not even been revealed to you yet?! That’s what’s amazing about art. I will give you some actual suggestions, but this idea and mindset of wonderment and curiosity are the fuel to the actions I’ll offer. Then I want you to see LIFE as a CREATION. You create meals, outfits to wear, and even in this email message to me, you’ve chosen specific words to use.
Next, here are some practical ideas. Clean up like you work in your house and clean the items, organize them and that’s it! Open a window and let the stagnant air around your art materials out. You can run wild with this, and dance near them or with the brushes, some kind of movement of your body in the space that you paint. You can also move the furniture around in that space, make it look NEW. On another day, give yourself permission to make crappy art. Make bad art that no one will see, make it so bad you can hardly stand the experience!
These two actions: the cleaning and charging up the space with your energy will lead you to making the crappy art, after that it’s up to you. It’s your choice, and I want you to know you can give up art, you can give all your materials away and never do it again.
What’s that like to read? What did your inner voice have to say about you giving away all your stuff and never painting again? Can you find that interesting? I want to encourage you to get the book, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.
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