The best of intentions

We all start off with a goal (or two), a modicum of inspiration and willpower, and perhaps a few tricks of the trade. 

But some days we may find ourselves crawling up the side of a very steep mountain, wondering, “What were those words that choo-choo-train used to mutter?” (Give you a hint: it was NOT “I-think-I-tanked-I-think-I-tanked!”) 

Flood’s Friday post about her “minimalist resolutions” posed the question to her readers, “What are you aiming for? 

Which got me thinking: how do we get back on track, or get cruising back down the tracks, when we hit the slow patch, or lose sight of our original goals? We’ve discussed creative cycles here before, but what about the day-to-day, or the mid-project-crisis? 

Last weekend, I visited Longwood Gardens and snapped a good 260 pictures as we wandered through forests, gardens, and indoor conservatories. It was a wonderful way to spend my day, but perhaps more importantly, it helped jar me out of a stretch of artistic complacency and back into a willingness to attack my work with force. 

If you’re having trouble with your inspiration – or even your willingness to work – step back and go do something different. Go do something fun, something new, something completely outside of your routine! 

What do you like to do to help regain your momentum? 

Side note: special thanks to Jaye Wells for a flattering blog blurb about Brainripples!

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8 Responses to The best of intentions

  1. Hi there!
    I did not know you had a new blog going on here, and was missing Arboreality.

    Coming up with an inspiring thought, or action is not easy, especially, when the one to be inspired is ourselves.

    Like this new format you have.

  2. JLB says:

    Howdy Barbara!

    Yes, it’s good to be back on the blogs. Arboreality is moving forward once again as well. Brainripples kicked off over the summer, and it’s been fun to have two avenues for thought!

    Inspiration can be elusive – I think it’s like many things in life: when you try to force it, it just won’t come.

    Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your weekend!
    JLB

  3. Ester says:

    that’s definitely one of the harder things to understand in the arts, the inspiration well. You’re totally right about going out and doing something different, that usually helps me too with drawing. Sometimes even just a drive to another part of town is all I need, other times I have to look at other people’s artwork and see the world differently that way. But the best “quick fix” for me is to do something non creative during those dry spells, like the laundry or something repetitive like washing dishes by hand, etc. It’s funny, but the best ideas come to me in the shower when I’m not even expecting to think about art!

  4. Bernita says:

    Yes, doing something different or something non-creative as Ester described, a change in pace, a change in scene.
    Sometimes research into a similar theme can spark ideas.

  5. JLB says:

    Ester, I like your point about taking some time to look at others’ artwork, and see how they’re looking at things – that’s another great way to “take a step back.” You and I are definitely on the same wavelength with simple tasks like laundry and dishes. I bet that like me, you love a good sweep too! 🙂

    Bernita, research is another good one! I especially like to step back and read articles about history and science – things that are rich in other-worldliness, and grounded in a unique way of looking at the world.

  6. Jaye Wells says:

    This is a timely post for me. I’ve been seeing a lot of people feeling burnt out and feeling some of it myself. Your post reminds me of The Artist’s Way, where she talks about doing Artist Dates. Sometimes we become so wrapped up in our craft that we lose perspective. Thanks for reminder that I need to get out and smell the roses.

  7. JLB says:

    Jaye, I’m glad that this post spoke to you. Lately I’ve really felt the need to just break out of the routine, set aside the work, and get out into the world – it’s certainly helped my attitude to do so, and I’ve returned with much greater energy to work and create. I’m already planning my next chance to break away! 🙂

  8. […] Last month I recommended getting out of your element as a good way to jumpstart creativity.  So now I’m curious – where do you like to go to soak up new material?  The city?  The country?  The backyard?  Nowhere in particular? […]

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