Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Carnival's Back in Town

                                          Image via Cathy Johnston 

This month's query is ~ What do you do to jump start or stretch your creativity?

It's a question that's particularly apropos to me right now and I'm actually quite tempted to skip to the part where I read everyone else's posts before I answer myself.

As you may (or may not) know I've been holed up in my apartment forever following a foot injury and have no partner or children to either distract or entertain me.  I'm definitely in the middle of a big, ugly case of artist's block due to the lack of stimulation here in my 500 sq. ft. world.

I've tried going to online galleries; I started this blog; I've updated my web site; I've completed a couple of pieces that have been floating around my studio for a year or more (very nicely if I do say so myself); I experimented with a new technique last week; I've done metal clay busy work (making granulation balls and such); I've had a couple of art play dates with Michelle and Paige; I taught a couple of classes.  I'm really trying to stretch the mental boundaries of my physical confinement - and one would imagine that all these attempts would have been enough to wake me up from my ennui.  But Noooooo.  I haven't had an original idea or a burning desire to create something new in ever so long.

I thought about taking part in the One-A-Week-Challenge that another group of jewelry artists is involved with, but it would have been hard to get interesting supplies considering my lack of mobility.  And it would have defeated the purpose of the exercise to ask friends to collect my specimens for me.  The minute I can get outside on my own though, I think I might join in their fun. Maybe I'll even do some of the previous challenges.  I like the way they're configured. They're based on challenges adapted from "Project Runway" ( a show I've never seen since I don't have cable).

I'm loving taking part in these Carnivals and they're certainly getting my creative juices flowing, but it's all been cerebral and I need to get physical.  I must inspire myself to set aside this electric juicer of a Mac computer for a few hours in favor of doin' a bit of squeezin' with my own two hands.  Because at the end of the day, creativity , - just like anything else in life - is a decision we can choose to embrace or ignore.

Don't leave the midway yet, there's lots more fun to be had if you visit the other Carny bloggers:


Tamra said...

Lora, do some spring cleaning--that is, if you have any to do. That often gets the ideas flowing again for me.

Have you tried meditating? Make a "to do" list--write it ALL down, even if it ends up with over 100 items on it, like mine... Rearrange your space--and top it off with a batch of wildflowers (heck, I grab mine from the grocery store)! Doodle on a notepad. Go through some books with design ideas in them--I mean, books with Greek, Japanese, African and Indian designs--and think about ways you can use some of them in your PMC work. Email me your mailing address and I'll send you a Greek designs book that I have two copies of...

knitsteel said...

It's hard to get motivated when your body is recovering from illness or injury. It's a good time for disciplined sketching, 30 minutes a day, split up into two sessions. Think of it as building your vocabulary.

kait said...

Oh, you so have my sympathy on the physical confinement post-injury! My partner has had several serious injuries/surgeries, and the situation can really drain the energy right out of a person for way too long. It sounds like you're doing a great job of trying to stay positive and still be creative. Limitations can be inspiring, but they can also be really frustrating. If you need someone to bounce ideas off as to how to adapt the one-a-week challenges to limited mobility, just let me know.

Lora ~ said...

Thanks everyone for your great suggestions. I'm definitely going to try them out. I'm seeing the doctor on WEdnesday and we'll see if I can walk yet. That'll certainly help. I am teaching on Saturday and I'm sure that will help. I'm really missing the great interaction I have with my students and since I usually teach every weekend, this time at home has been exceptionally hard.

Angela said...

Hey Lora,
You've been super productive and creative in other related aspects. The rest will flow naturally once your condition allows you too. You've done some great work and recycled some projects into wonderful pieces !