Looking for Inspiration

Trio of Paint Brushes
  Some nights I can't get to sleep because I'm bursting with ideas and can't wait until morning to get started working on them. I lie in bed for a couple of hours before giving up, wrapping a blanket around my shoulders, and heading back to my desk to start drawing, painting, or writing. I live for those days when ideas are flowing so freely I can't even keep up.

And then there are the other kind of days...

The days where I can barely pull myself out of a funk, can't think of anything that sounds even remotely creative, and can't even find joy in flipping through things that usually inspire me. I can feel it coming on like a storm...the mind gets more cloudy, stupid songs get caught in my head, I watch more mindless TV...and then it hits: the artist's mental block. It descends like an iron curtain and won't let go it's relentless hold.

Fortunately, those days are few and far between. But when they do come, it seems as though they'll never end. Finding inspiration can be a rough thing even on good days. Having the wrong conversation or listening to music that doesn't fit your mood can throw things out of kilter faster than you'd ever expect. Fighting back is the ultimate struggle for any artist. For me, it usually means giving in for a day and letting myself get out and away from what only recently was so inspiring, but now feels stale and old. I go on walks, read books, visit with people, and generally stop looking for inspiration. Once I stop looking, it's like it's suddenly there!

What do you do to find inspiration when you find yourself in a rut?

by Sarah-Lambert Cook 

Donauluft: Looking for Inspiration

OneClayBead: Urban Rustic Dinnerware


steinschmuckdesign said...

Oh yes I know this Days.... I spended hours in my Studio, ending with no work done just because a lac of inspiration. When I get those Days now, I try to have Lunch with a Girlfriend or I do Housekeeping, or, or, or, just get out and away from my Work :)

Viktoria said...

To be inspired is non-enforceable
better to wait for a more lucky day!
enjoyed to read your inspiration thoughts !

IKABAGS said...

I know too :))

I am sleeping with my fabrics since long time , I cannot sleep very well if cant finished new ideas too.
I know not normal , but my life :)
You cannot imagine how many fabrics I have at my home .

Thanks for sharing with us your inspiration thoughts !

Jahje Ives said...

I find the same as you, taking a break from my studio to go and live a little reignites the inspiration. I find now that most of my inspiration comes when I read a book with my son or go out to the playground. Both much nicer than staring at a blank wall.

Eve's Little Earthlings said...

I usually jump to a job that requires no inspiration, just time and effort. Doing yoga and walking the dog also help. Cleaning my studio also offers some relief. Usually by the time it is tidied up, I am ready to work enthusiastically again.

VerbenaPlace said...

I think as an artist it is too easy to get caught up in the details. Stepping away from our work for a change of “scenery” allows us to see the larger picture and taking a break from our work environment gives us the sensory stimulation we need to be creative. In other words - taking a break is a good idea.

On the other hand, sometimes just “forcing” ourselves to create will at least get the juices flowing and our subconscious, more times than not, will work things out for us while we are asleep or resting. How many times have we all had the experience of struggling for inspiration, or a solution to a design problem, only to find that it is there in the morning when we wake up.

However we take a break from our work, our subconscious is still busy at work as long as we give it something to work on. We need enough sensory stimulation, conscious effort and subconscious effort, to be inspired, and to find the solutions to bring our inspirations to life.

Thanks Sarah for your thought provoking article!

cherylline said...

I either work in a different medium from yarn, ie leather, sewing, or jewellery making, Sometimes I go for acoffee in my local/favourite italian cafe.
i have found music concerts really inspiring, the perfection needed to perform to a mass live audience, is awe inspiring, also some retail therapy always gets my creative juices flowing :) if all else fails I have a nap.

Lee Wolfe Pottery OneClayBead said...

Thanks for this topics, Sarah. I get my inspiration from staring at the natural world. it just happens. I can best find inspiration when I am light hearted.

Nicolas Hall said...

I do not know if it is a blessing or a curse. . . but those "other" kind of days have only come in my life when I am unable to devote the time I desire to creating. I tried to balance the "normal" life with creativity for 20 some years. . . that made for a lot of "those days".

Thanx for sharing this Sarah, I am curious if I will have "those" days now that I have EVERY day to create at will??


Lauren said...

Those days will always find us...
Thanks for sharing what you do to get out of creative ruts.