What do you do when you don’t know what to do? For me this can be a HUGE problem if I’m facing deadlines or otherwise ‘must create’ – what if I am stuck? There are a lot of strategies I use, the one you will NOT ever see me advocate or recommend is ‘just wait for inspiration’. In my experience sitting around waiting does nothing but make the creative block worse, even permanent until you get to doing and making!
So today in this article I will walk you through a struggle with creative block as well as showing you this necklace I made while working it out.
One of the things I ask myself is why do I think I’m struggling? What’s going on? In this case I’d spent most of summer on the road and the first week of school was upon us. I knew it was time to get back in the swing of things but how? When? What should I make?
My niece and I took a trip to a local bead store and I picked up this leaf charm among a few other things and then I sat down to put everything away… but the leaf I knew what I wanted to make.
So I sat and pulled beads out. Played with colors and order. NO pressure, just tested ideas out. While making myself a fall necklace was certainly not a priority or plan, I was inspired and I could envision it. In my experience following an idea and getting the wheels rolling is far better a plan than sitting and staring, or worse yet giving up.
I have made quite a few jewelry pieces this summer – often the girls like to design a piece and then I string it/close it off. It’s great practice for me, and they love the design pieces.
Above you can see a necklace Rebecca designed for herself. She is especially into having a partial bead/partial chain design and I have to say – I am into it too! It helps me simply doing creative projects – of any sort. A few others I did within a day or two of this necklace included:
- birthday card (you’ve seen it here on my blog – ladybug design!)
- vinyl design for a birthday girl’s dress
- creative challenge of organizing a dorm room
That last one may not be traditionally “creative” – but for my brain organizing and artfully arranging a room gets those same muscles started that I need for other projects! The key is to get yourself simply doing something, and if you’re real stuck the “what” matters less than the doing!
While creating this necklace it also gave me time to think, and I realized I had been way too messy in the studio (organization wise) as well as office and needed to clean up/clear up some mess. I also got inspired to make jewelry for gifts for the holidays – why not! So next up I got out my notebook and jotted down every idea and concept I had in mind.
Why jot them down? Two reasons. First so that I don’t forget my ideas since I won’t have time to see them all through right away. The second reason is so that they are out of my head, onto paper. You see being OVER inspired is a thing, and can lead to creative block just as much as not having any ideas! So writing them down and having a list to pick from often works better than ideas simply floating in my head.
I wasn’t expecting to realize I needed to clean more and hold off on creating – but the process of this simple necklace made me realize exactly where I was being held up. And sometimes that is the beauty of a simple project or idea – you realize where you were getting hung up.
As for me, it’s been two weeks since I made this and now I’m sitting talking about it. Working on verbalizing my process more, and wishing you a September filled with apples, leaves beginning to turn, and fall colors too! If you’ve got questions or your own ideas for dealing with feeling creatively blocked do share!
Right now I’m off for a nice long day in the studio of making all kinds of projects from scrapbook pages to acrylic paint pour projects!