As artists, strike that, as HUMANS, we go through periods of great inspiration--perhaps you just attended a conference that has you STOKED about the latest and greatest thing, or you're in this great creative groove where everything seems to be clicking and you're able to crank out work faster than a speeding bullet. You're on top of Mount Inspiration. You can do ANYTHING...
....then, just like that, everything comes crashing to a halt and you're left scratching your head, wondering where where all the ideas went---feeling like your mind is suspended in limbo, trying to grasp onto something always a little out of your reach.
Moments of inspiration come and go. Knowing what to do in moments of inspiration is EASY. You're motivated to start new things. You can conquer the world. However, moments of uninspiration are just that--uninspiring. You'd much rather spend your time surfing the web, reading celebrity gossip, playing Candy Crush, watching your favorite show, (the list could go on) than face the blank wall of uninspiration in front of you. Basically you have two choices in front of you: a.) To give up, and hope that inspiration strikes again at some point; or b.) To fight to break through that wall of uninspiration.
I won't lie to you--this past week has definitely been one of those wall-hitting weeks. Although I finished a painting, I have most definitely been struggling to start a new one. Here's how I have been working to chip away at that wall:
The first thing I did was make a list. I wanted to understand the source of my uninspiration. It looked a little something like this:
1. Stress of a busy week
2. Lack of exciting ideas
Stress and energy can play a HUGE part in uninspiration. Obviously if I am wanting a nap, I have absolutely no motivation to start a new painting. I am motivated to sleep. This week has been a tough one for me. So, understandably, I am more motivated to rest than work.
My next step was to make a list of ways to work through the uninspiration (I like lists!). Here is my list of things I CAN do to keep moving forward:
1. Go to bed a little earlier
2. Read art business books
3. Collage the surface of the canvas
4. Start painting a background/play
5. Write a blog post
6. Doodle/ Test new art supplies
Since I've been uninspired to come up with a new idea for a painting, I decided to nurture my creativity in other ways--my number one goal being to get some much-needed Zzz's. Sometimes playing without any real ideas in mind can be a great way to jumpstart inspiration! Actually, "The Snow Cyclist" began with one of those play sessions. Sometimes taking small steps seems to help me reach a place of inspiration.
For "The Snow Cyclist," I had a canvas that I wanted to paint, but no ideas. So, I began by doing the things I knew I could do--like collage book pages on the surface of the canvas. This led to painting the background. While painting, I still had no idea what the painting would become. I was just playing--exploring mark making and effects with black and white paint. While in the process of painting, something amazing happened--I suddenly found my inspiration again!
Now, sometimes that is all it takes. However, there are other times in which inspiration takes a lot more work. In the end, however, inspiration is always worth the effort. Sure, everything you do won't always be perfect. But isn't that liberating to know? There is beauty in imperfection; there is beauty in uninspiration. We just have to be willing to embrace the uninspiring moments in life and see them as a challenge for growth and even more inspiration!
May this weekend bring you inspiration and, if you're like me, much needed rest!
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Welcome to the whimsical world of Tara Pappas' mixed media art! Thank you for stopping by to view samples of my work and read a little about my adventures as an artist. I am always looking for new ways to connect and grow as an artist, so would love to hear from you if you have any questions or interests in a particular piece. I hope that my work brings you inspiration and joy!
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