I've been creating jewelry for about 7 years now. Like most artists, I go through periods of high production and periods of lower production. There are times when I am bursting with ideas and times when I feel like I'm walking a dry and barren desert.
When I do wander into that desert where ideas aren't coming I do what many other artists do. I either clean my workspace, or I sketch, or I create in a different medium (painting for example), or I go for a walk, etc.
But have you ever had times when you HAVE ideas, sketches waiting to be brought to life, the time set aside to create, and you enter your studio and you feel nothing? This was my experience recently. One recent Sunday, when the family was out of town, I had all day to myself. I delighted in the idea of uninterrupted studio time. And yet, when I sat down to my bench. NOTHING. I wasn't feeling it.
Not to worry, I thought. I'll go do something else for a few minutes and come back.
So that is what I did. And you know what?
I did this no less than 4 times before I finally gave up. I turned on the tv and watched parts of two movies, on and off, between trips into the studio to attempt to create, finally giving up and relaxing into the quiet of the house and losing myself fully in a movie.
For me, it is far too easy to think what a waste of a day!
However, I have come to believe that these rare occassions are a gift.
Apart from creating jewelry, I work full time, I am a single parent, I have a house and yard to take care of and other various commitments and friends and family and, and, and......
Sound familiar? Does anyone else lead a busy life? Wear more than one hat? Feel like you are chasing your own tail sometimes?
Sometimes, despite how 'good' everything feels and how under control things seem - it just catches up to us. And that void when you go to create is a signal.
It's saying sometimes it's time to shut it ALL down. No sketching, no planning, no creating in another medium.
I view my day in front of the TV like a farmer allowing a field to go fallow. And I was the field.
It wasn't a wasted day. It was a period, albeit short, when I let myself breathe. Just breathe.
We tend to push ourselves. Whether at work, at home, or in the studio. Make it happen. If you're not creating, sketch. If you can't sketch, paint. Work, work, work.
I believe we need, at times, to resist the urge to push ourselves, especially in areas of creativeness. Embrace the idea of being a fallow artist, no stimulus at all - just rest, breathe, renew. Embrace the down times when they come. You just may find the soil of your creative energies richer for it.