CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009
free your creativity
Last summer, I had found a great article on the HOW Magazine web site about Freeing Your Creativity and did a little post about it, here's the post again with some additions and new thoughts!

Now that I think about it -- whenever I feel creatively flat I think it really can fall into one of the categories that is outlined in this article by Todd Henry. Once you identify how you are torturing yourself you can stop!

He talks about 3 sources of creativity killers:

1. Our Heroes - Comparing yourself or your work to another artist you admire is a sure way to to feel inferior. I agree! Sometimes if I spend too much time hopping around Etsy or various blogs, I start to feel down about my own work. Seeing all these juicy blogs makes me start to compare my work and then quickly leads down a dark road to feeling bad about my work.

2. Our Own Work - Another great point in this article is one I didn't even really think about. When you create a "pinnacle" work that you feel is above all your other works and then you compare everything else that you create to that one piece. I do this sometimes and now that I think about it, it is a creativity crusher. I am on the road to a creative block if I keep thinking to myself "if only I could make another piece as good as THAT one" oh boy!

3. Others Expectations - Imagining what others will say about a work that I am creating is a direct route to stopping the creative process. This can be a real challenge for me especially when I am making art for custom artwork orders. It's hard to push those thoughts of "will they like this?" aside and just go with the process while keeping the clients needs in mind at the same time.

The article also mentions this book - Free Play, which I did get and enjoyed although not as much as I thought I would when I first wrote about it. It was a good book. Just very cerebral. I would recommend Orbiting the Giant Hairball as a good book to feel a creative jumpstart. it's one of my favs. Also Bird by Bird. I have this one by my bed and read it again and again!

Anyone think of any other Creativity Killers to add to this list?
COMMENTS:
Thanks for writing about your helpful insights. I'm beginning to understand that I'm not unique and doubt about creative expression is ubiquitous.

One creativity squelcher for me is a close deadline on an important project.
 
Thanks for the "republication" of that article, it comes at an important time for me personally. With the pressure of completing the Christmas projects for gifts that are floating in my brain, that becomes a creative block, as I know in theory what I want to accomplish, it's the time management and supplies that constantly block my progress to completion. (Do you feel the pressure stirring?)
I need to just enjoy the process of completing what I'm able to complete and try and "let go". (Augh, but then the guilt of the ones that didn't get done and given on Christmas...oh, the pressure)
Anyway, thanks for the article, it's nice to know that the creative block is not unique to me, I'm only a crafter, not an artist, so I thought it was just a lack of talent thing...lol
Enjoy!! and again, thx!
~Jill
 
Hi Claudine...
Great reminders. Also, I'm missing some of your more personal posts, like pet updates and pix...have you intentionally chosen to not comment on things like that anymore...like as part of "re-imaging"...? If so, I (and others) miss the more "personal you"! :)
Sara White
 
Thanks, Claudine, for posting this. These are ALL SO true!
 
Wow! I can definitely relate to all of these!! Thanks for sharing this article...now I'm off to Amazon to check out those books!
:-)
 
sara

hey there! I haven't done as many personal posts because with twitter and facebook I feel like people are hearing from me all day about the cats and things. But I d want to do more again! Thanks for the nudge!!
 
I live by my favorite saying "Just LEAP....and the net will appear"

Right now I'm on a roll with beeswax and everything is kind of looking 'the same'...but, the I realize that this may just be 'my look' and its okay to have that.

For all I know it will lead to other experiments and a new direction.
 
Claudine thanks for the repost. I totally understand where the article is coming from. I find myself surfing through beautiful mosaics and fine illustrations and think...what the heck am I doing? I did find a little saying the other day..."You will never be able to create like another, and why would you want to?" Yes it is kinda sharp tongued but I have to remind myself to find the "me" not the "them" Hope that makes sense!...probably not :)
 
Oooh can we add deadlines to the creativity crusher list! Thanks for this list btw... it opened my eyes a little :) to have more fun at the moment.
 
great post claudine!
 
This is a really good post, and I don't have any creativity crushers to add, but I agree with these wholeheartedly! I'm currently going through the book The Artist's Way and loving it. It's helping me deal with the gremlins than try to quench the creative juices from flowing.

p.s. I've used your sticky back canvas in a couple of paintings for our Retrieval Project (http://retrievalproject.blogspot.com), and I'm super excited because today my husband surprised me and ordered your paint set for me! I can't wait to get (and use) them!
 
I think deadlines fuel my creative process. It's amazing what I can come up with if they need it by Tuesday!

I love this quote from the article:
"It's great to sit on the shoulders of giants, but don't let the giants sit on YOUR shoulders! There's no room for their legs to dangle."

Thanks for the giggle and the motivation!
 
Boy, can I identify with all of that. I also get the feeling sometimes that my success is undeserved because I am a fraud (ie. my work really stinks) and everybody will figure it out sooner or later. I was very relieved to read somewhere that this is a common emotion in many. But that doesn't stop me from feeling that way on down days...like after I've surfed some cooler-than-mine blogs :-))
 
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