Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Breathing Through Creative Blocks

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” Pablo Picasso

One question I get asked a lot is, “Where do you find your inspiration?”

Well, I work. I just get in there and start messing around with paint. Sometimes I tear up pieces of paper and cut out pictures from magazines to assemble them for ideas. I flip through my large box of photos. I pull up digitals on my computer. But I don’t wait for inspiration to show up in order to work. I just get to work.

Living a life of creativity is like breathing. You breathe in life and you breathe out life. I want to breath in life as much as I can. I want to be aware of all of all my senses. I’m an aromatherapy freak. I love things that smell great. I love color. I visit my friend’s back deck to watch a sunset now and then. I take walks through a nearby park and will often bury my face in a hedge of flowers just to breath in the color.

I visit museums and art galleries often. I get out and take photos. I go for long walks. Sometimes I take a vacation. I actually try to visit Europe one month out of every year. I pray a lot. I meditate. Listen to great music, live or otherwise. I love to read interesting poetry. Better yet, I enjoy attending poetry readings. (There is nothing like listening to a poet read their own work.) This is how I breathe in life.

To breathe out life is to express myself through my imagination. If I have been breathing in life, it will flow out of me naturally. I love it when that happens. There have been many times when I did not feel the least bit “inspired”. I was totally not in the mood to paint. Yet, because I had been taking care of my “in take”, my “out flow” came naturally. One painting that I painted in less than 20 minutes recently won a national award…first place! It sold for twice the price of my other pieces the same size. And I was soooo not in the mood to paint that day. Go figure!

Have I ever had “creative blocks”? Of course! I have had seasons where, because of one thing or another, I had a hard time prying myself out of bed in order to walk out to the studio. And, when I did, everything I touched turned to crap. I have been known to wipe off ten hours of work and swear that I have forgotten how to paint. Thankfully, those times are few and far between. But what do I do when it does happen? Well, I remember that feelings are not fact. I remember to take in a few deep breaths. Other than that, I just get in there and get to work.