free your creativity
Here's a link to a great article I stumbled across on the HOW Magazine web site about Freeing Your Creativity. I don't even know how I found it but it struck a chord with me. I've been feeling a little stuck lately with all the stress of the move and have been waiting patiently to get my creative mo-jo back.

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.

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"

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"!

The article also mentions this book - Free Play, which I am really curious about!

Anyone think of any other Creativity Killers to add to this list?


These are great points. Thanks for sharing them. I have creative blocks sometimes, especially from the points you posted. 1 more possibility is: letting the bad happen. I have trouble with that. If I get to a point where I'm just hating something I'm working on, it gets set aside and I'm frustrated and blocked. I'm trying to work quicker, think less about the whole thing and push past the times when I think its crud. If I get past that, I just might come up with that creativity I've been yearning for.

when I am working on something that is turning out bad, I set it aside - usually hide it so I don't look at it or pick at it - and then start something totally new. Most times if i am lucky I will come up with a new idea how to fix the one I didn't like while working on the new piece.

other times there are those duds that just have to be gessoed over and they have to become something new!

I also think it's helpful to know that all artists and creative people make work that they think is poopy. When I make work I hate it helps me to remember that!
oh my goodness I got so behind this summer with computer failure I missed your big move!
Congratulations on your beautiful new nest!
If you got a photo of you hand carrying your printer in the car ,I think you should definitely do a custom creation of it and send it to Canon!
Perhaps they will send you another one for safe keeping =)
I look forward to finding your new products.
Isn't it funny how even our own work can stump creativity? Now that I think about it, so true! If I create something I really love, I spend too much time trying to make the next thing bigger and better instead of just planting a new seed and letting it grow. Very nice! What camera do you use? Your pics are crisp!
Thanks for posting this! Helpful!
Claudine, I think EVERYONE on the planet gets into those slumps whether it be about art or just life. I know I've sat there many times pressed for ideas. I keep all the old rubber stamped cards I made - even from 20 years ago - and I'll go back & look at them and say...WOW...I'd forgotten that technique! That's always an eye opener !
I think that house I took pictures of in FL will be your next inspiration. LOL
I think another big creativity killer is stress! Especially time-pressure.

Thanks for the link to the article and your comments on it. When you are feeling the lack-o-mojo-blues, it's nice to know you're not the only one! And, being able to figure out what put you in your blues can help you get out of them, too! :-)
thanks for the link to this's helpful to know that other artists, big and small, go through the same feelings
Hey Claudine! You now live even closer to me! I am in the hampton Roads area of VA...anyway. I'm relatively a new fan of yours. I am new to blogging as well and got to yours via your books & Martha Stewart etc. I think a creativity blocker can be the workspace or lack there of...if mine is a mess from an earlier art explosion then i am less likely to start something new.

Thanks for all your gracious giving of yourself & inspirations.

My desk area has my computers on one side and the art area on another so I often find myself getting distracted by searching for images, checking email, etc until I've just distracted myself out of the creative mind set.
boy, how true this is! i fall into all three of these categories more often than i'd like to admit. i've also noticed that i'll be on a great "creative roll", and then a big distraction will interrupt, and -poof- i can't seem to get back into the creative swing again. i wonder if this is true for you, claudine, with your move...hang in there!
oh I agree! email is a big distraction for me. I am trying to only check it twice a day now. ha! so far not working out for me!
Thank you for posting this... I get stuck a lot it seems. Remembering that if you love what you do, it will show through, is very important.
Whew! it is so good to know that other folks go through the same stuff. Some days I swear I'm forcing creativity instead of just letting it flow. I'm trying to notice those moments. A technique that is working for me is to stop trying to be creative and just play. I give myself permission to goof around. A few minutes of unfocused play is usually enough to unblock me :)
Thank you Claudine for posting the link to the article. I think we all have peaks and valleys with our art. Knowing that others struggle with this is comforting. I have found that my most sucessful work comes from going with my instincts and pleasing myself and not caring what others think. Having said that it is not aways easy to do. I will tuck this away so when I have a valley I will remember your post and it will make me feel better!
I didn't see my original comment post, so here it is again...
I love your work and am a big fan of yours. I can relate to all three points listed. As a graphic designer another creativity killer for me is deadlines and trying to get everything done at lighting speed. You're so talented Claudine, I know you'll get your creative mo-jo back soon.
Hi Claudine. Thanks for the mention of the article - it's great to know that it was helpful! I love your work and your blog.
The fear of making know, ruining that perfectly good canvas....or, wasting the last piece of my favorite vintage wallpaper.....
I can totally identify with all of these. I am just glad to see that I am not the only one who suffers this. Thank you for sharing this!! Also, your little part on the martha commercial is cute!
yes, I agree with these creativity killers. They really do come into play when you are in a large agency surrounded by talented artists all day long.
Just stumbled onto your blog. Interesting read.
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