As a maker, I’ve been asked how I come up with my ideas for the eclectic projects that I do, including writing, performing, and mixed-media art. My answer is that creativity is something that I nurture, and the more energy I devote to it, the more it comes flowing back in unexpected ways. My desire to create can be overwhelming, as lack of time is one of my biggest hurdles, and there’s no way to put more hours in a day. So I follow the advice of others I read about in Cloth Paper Scissors and beyond, and pave my own way as I go.
One of the reasons I think it’s so important to make art and creativity a high priority is because it makes me a better person, and when others use art as an outlet, it makes them better people, too. We can use art a channel to relieve the stress of major life changes and minor occurrences. Taking a few minutes day or a couple of hours a week to be creative can have several benefits, including increased relaxation, gained learning experiences, and having more art to sell, give, or display.
As a part of the Cloth Paper Scissors community, you have the opportunity to discover inspiration on a daily basis, and today is no different! Our team has just released a new digital magazine that speaks directly to the concept of being inspired when it comes to creating mixed-media art. It’s called Art Inspiration: Advice and Support for the Creative Life, and it includes some of the best advice I’ve seen on the topic.
This special magazine has a collection of “Adventures in Arting” columns by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, a series of “The Creative Pulse” columns by Seth Apter, and four additional essays on creativity and mixed-media art.
One of my favorite articles is Julie’s “Blocked,” in which she addresses common problems such as not having enough time or mojo for art. “As much as people make fun of artists for needing to ‘feel the spirit,’ I do believe that quality artwork is a combination of discipline and mojo,” Julie says. “Mojo, however, is an elusive thing, as difficult to capture as a photo of Big Foot. But, with a bit of discipline, I have discovered that you can lay a trap and lure it your way.”
Julie goes on to give us several ways to snap back into creativity mode, including how to lay said traps, three ways to make time for art, and a solution for getting the most out of your mixed-media supplies. She tells us that setting a deadline is a great way to stay focused, and I couldn’t agree more. While I obviously rely on deadlines as a professional in publishing, I carry that dedication over to my high-priority personal projects as well. Does it add a certain level of pressure? Yes, but that pressure is like having my foot on the gas pedal and it keeps me from slowing down.
An easy way to set an art goal is to give yourself a time frame like this:
One-Month Goal (end of July):
Write down concept(s) for next media-media art project
Create list of needed materials
Buy needed materials
Two-Month Goal (end of August):
Create rough sketches/mock-ups
Share with a trusted friend/mentor for feedback
Update next goal for September/October
Following a plan like this (adapted to your needs, of course) will keep your momentum going. And when you have resources like Art Inspiration: Advice and Support for the Creative Life at your fingertips, you’ll be that much more empowered.
Yours in art,
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