I am often asked by collectors, friends and fellow artists how I manage to stay inspired to keep creating? This is a great question! As in any creative profession, it is essential to refill the creativity well in order to keep making new work that feels authentic and personally meaningful. This can be hugely challenging if you are creating/making on a daily basis. It's easy to deplete the inspiration juices and feel all dried up. When this happens to me, I run through a refill the well protocol...
Here are my 5 top tips for staying inspired!
1. Take a breath. Give yourself permission to rest, take care of the body and detach your mind completely from thinking about your next great work of art!
For me, I like to take a slow walk and notice everything around me. ... I take in the sights, the colors, forms, and shadows.. I notice the feeling of the soft wind on my face, the heat of the sun on my arms..... I listen intently to the insects humming, the water on the side of the road trickling along the curbside after a rain, and lately, the beautiful melodies of song birds.
I also believe in the power of heart pumping exercise! I love riding my road bike through the Santa Cruz mountains, and surfing. I feel like I am literally exercising all the stress and creative blocks out of me until I find an inner calm again. In this inner quiet zone, creative inspiration begins bubbling up again!
2. Go exploring! I find so much inspiration from going to art galleries, museums and art books. When I see other peoples work that resonates with me, I feel appreciation for the work others are creating. This gratitude helps to calm me down when I am feeling really stuck and frustrated and from a calm place I can start noticing the beauty around me that I want to paint.
3. Engage with other artists! It definitely helps to get out of the studio and out into the world and socialize with other artists. I love meeting them for tea and catching up and sharing stories. Sometimes we visit each others studios and start brainstorming ideas....this is an excellent creativity booster! I always leave feeling better, uplifted and usually ready to get back to work in the art studio.
4. Take a class!
I really love taking art classes - even if it's a medium or subject matter that I have been working in for years... I can always learn something new! It's great to let yourself be the student... Open to learning, curious and ready to explore! This is an excellent idea and creativity generator!
5. Play with a whole NEW medium or NEW subject matter!
This always works! If I try all of the above and am still feeling uninspired, I will begin making art in a whole new medium that I do not have experience with! In the past, I have tried process painting with Michelle Cassou at Esalen - this is a profound way to open up to your inner source of all creative inpspiration. I've taken clay classes with Jenni Ward at Earth Arts and ended up making the From Black Heart to Beating Heart Series which was featured at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History! Then, I started painting political and social art with a positive healing message - the concept of the word, "AND". And now....... I have begun a new journey of painting, painting with encaustic medium! It's been a wild ride. ... I will write blog post dedicated to the joys, frustration and successes of exploring this ancient art form.
CLICK HERE for ADVENTURES IN ENCASUTIC PAINTING