Do you look at the blank page in front of you and wonder what on earth to do next?
Have your recent creative efforts come to nothing but another scrumpled up sheet in the circular file?
Has your morale sunk lower than a bees knee cap?
Are you ready to jack it all and get a real job?
That’s been me for the last three weeks…until Thursday.
Give Yourself A Break
I know the reason for my despondency. It’s a bad time of year for me as my youngest daughter died at the age of 3 days at the end of June. I had a great weekend days later as another daughter was married on a beautiful day in a wonderful ceremony and was feeling buoyant. A comment made later brought me right back down at the end of a roller coaster ride of emotions.
If you have suffered from depression, you will know this is a recipe for disaster. My work suffered as I focused on trivial tasks to keep myself from slipping.
Fortunately I had a break planned at Patchings Art Festival on Thursday. I booked myself into a tutorial session with English watercolour painter David Webb. This session made it impossible for me to procrastinate. I was sat with 15 other students, all the materials laid out ready and the subject matter sorted too.
It was completely different way of working than my usual wet-on-wet style so I could forgive myself any mistakes and just go with the learning curve of the process. With all pressure to produce removed I could just enjoy the feel, colour and smell of the paint. Heaven.
I sat and had a picnic lunch in the grounds before going in to the main part of the festival. I wasn’t expecting much from this, except maybe to get some free samples, see a couple of demos and buy some more materials.
I was more than pleasantly surprised. In fact I spent a most enjoyable four hours testing, learning and buying equipment for 2 crafts I haven’t tried before.
The first was Pyrography. The beautiful wild life designs on show were an inspiration and the smell of charring wood brought happy recollections of wood fires and camping. A great way of producing positive feelings while working, and a craft to which the skills I already have are transferable.
The second is Marbling. Now I have done a little of this before on glass but the technique was hit and miss. This was a way to marble on any absorbent or fibrous surface. Paper, card, fabric, stone, wood all were given the treatment in glorious colour from subtle shades to vibrant hues. I instantly saw a quilt design forming in my head and was hooked. Kit bought.
Welcome Home Mojo.
To my surprise, the next day, I wasn’t only raring to go with my new found discoveries, but I also felt excited to get back to writing and preparing photographs for the Web. A busy Friday saw me back on the horse with a blog post written and illustrated, plus materials for a crafty Saturday ready to go.
I have advocated a number of ways of getting past The Block, but this has been the most successful instance to date especially as it helped me avoid falling into the pit of depression.
Over to You
So, if you are finding yourself at a loss, without inspiration, why not give yourself a break at a place where you’ll be surrounded by like minds? Or learn a new skill, a new string to your bow? Or even do both?
It’s a fun way to get yourself out of a creative jam and get cooking again.