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.....the art of distraction....part 1


I sometimes have what appears to be creative block….
It’s when I will do almost anything else rather than go to my studio….
and I love my studio.
I love creating my Spirit Figures…
it’s not like I don’t have the time, I do. I have blocks of time.

I’m what I call a working artist…..
I have to produce & sell in order to keep doing what I love. I need to work my craft as well as all the marketing, networking, photography, art hops, etc.

It’s not that I don’t have ideas and inspiration….sometimes it’s very hard to choose from all the possibilities floating in my head. There are deadlines that often dictate a priority list….
so it’s not always possible to just go with the flow.

There are days when I take hours to walk the 20 or so yards to my studio…..
the other day I made it in the door but quickly left because I was overdressed, it was warmer than I thought…..it was too hot for what I was wearing.

I came back to the house and spent 40 minutes deciding what to wear……it became a production of choosing, trying on, putting away the discarded, before I came up with just the right thing…
No one is going to see me.

But the distractions didn’t end there….
and I kept saying NO to the actual work of art.

On the way back to the studio I noted that the potted plant with the yellow flowers was sending of shoots.....it needed to be put in some dirt right away…
that led me back to the house to get gloves, a pot, soil, etc….…
which led to the desire to wash the dog beds,
while I answered some email…
not getting back to the flowers until an hour later…
by then I was hungry so I fixed something to eat and took it with me to the studio to eat it…a good thing…

However by time I did the routine that generally leads me to creativity I realized it was almost time for the evening routine of greeting the Bear, walking the dogs, visiting with Daughter #1, who has started a new job, feeding the cats and watering the garden, feeding the dogs, maybe feed the Bear and myself……
So with only an hour to spend I was limited in what I was willing to start and not be able to finish…

I ended up rushing through the making of some bodies to be stuffed. In the end all I had to show for studio time were two little stuffed figures and one set of wings!!!
That is basically unacceptable!!....
I have 4 shows and 2 open studio tours between now and
the end of the year!

The following day was not a whole lot better…I never even made it to putting on the studio clothes…

I know that part of the block is really avoidance…..
sometimes it’s hard to go through the process..…

and I have a huge one…it’s like revving up…
and it takes place in my studio…
the walking around the work table…
picking things up, putting on some music,
talking to the girls…some putting away……
I start thinking about where to start…
I usually have 2, 3, sometimes 4 figures going……

There is always bit of chaos at the start with me moving from figure to figure....staying with some for a minute or two before I feel the need to move around and just play with stuff...…
and if I’m lucky …

I start to feel a bit of a tingling sensation in my spine….and soon I‘ll slip into the zone and settle into to the work of creating art.
But I have to get into the studio first.

6 comments:

Sue said...

Wow Julie, I can SO identify with your post! I actually feel like you have cloned my thoughts. I too go through most of the avoidance/rituals that you have described.

It is rather sad for us that it happens, but I sure am glad to realize that I am not the only one!

Hoping today is much more productive for you!

ODD imagination said...

BOY do I know about this! There are a myriad of distractions that can keep me from creating even when that is my desire. All I can say is please don't ever stop going to the studio because your work is BEAUTIFUL and it needs to be out in the world.

julie mitchell said...

Sue & ODD, I feel like I'm in good company...
It's not only a bit sad that this happens to us, it's weird! It's an absolute fact that I would rather create in my studio than change the cat box...but there are many times when I've chosen the cat box even when it didn't need cleaning.
Do you know why we do this dance?

My Latest Sculptures said...

Julie,

That post is so honest and so in keeping with what I go through many many mornings. And then, I wake up one morning and work for 12hours straight because I can't imagine doing anything but my art. We are so lucky to do what we do but what we do is not easy. It draws from deep within us. And we need to build ourselves back up from time to time...and sometimes that replenishing can come from something as ridiculous as changing an outfit many times even though nobody will see us. I think it is important that we allow ourselves those days when nothing get done because I believe things ARE getting done inside our heads and even further down in our souls. Celebrate your distractions. It isn't easy and I flog myself over mine continually but every once in awhile I see what they truly are and I am glad I have "goofed around". Your work is so personal, heartfelt, and moving. Not sure how I rambled on like this. I was just laughing at how similar your day seemed to mine and the next thing I knew that whole comment happened. I must have some art I should be making...or I must be trying to feel better about my nonproductive day.

Tammie Lee said...

I also go through periods of avoidance, most likely very common. Sometimes the inspirations flow and I can barely keep up and other times I have to work it. Wishing you grace with your work!

julie mitchell said...

Thank you all for sharing here...I often think every other artist is just singing happy tunes all the way through the process, always showing up and doing.
Janet, what you wrote >I think it is important that we allow ourselves those days when nothing get done because I believe things ARE getting done inside our heads and even further down in our souls.< is true...I often tell my husband that even though I may appear to be just taking a walk, my artist mind is almost always seeking ways to bring forth what I see and feel inside. It is a process...labor....I think we artists know this time spent not doing the actual work of art is as needed as the real work...so why then to we "flog" ourselves? hug, hug

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