Monday, January 24, 2011

Blasting Away Creative Block (well trying to)

So, I've always been inspired by nature. My parents have a copy of my first drawing ever,  I drew it at about 18 months. I called it a frog, it slightly resembled a grasshopper, but they were very excited about when I showed them.  I remember being about 3 years old begging for my Mom to help me make a sort of butterfly paper doll. At that time my toddler hands had not caught up with the creations in my mind. My mother patiently followed my stern dictation and drew a butterfly with a lady's face for me to color.

As an adult I'm almost frantic at times to tap into the creativity that fueled my childhood.  The imagination of my youth, a devoted playmate , now after years of squelching her in the pursuit of practicality , isn't always there to help me when I'm stuck.  So I've had to become more resourceful in drawing her out.  I've learned that what makes me shine personally, is nature. For some, it might be something else, but I think there is enough in nature to inspire anyone.

1. OBSERVATION- go outside and observe-watch the birds, set up a feeder if necessary, watch the way the sunlight hits the trees, look at the details on the back of a leaf. Lift up a rock and watch the life scurrying around beneath it.  If this isn't an option, spend some time watching wildlife films. "Life" is fantastic and beautifully filmed .  I think that documentary could inspire a rock.

2. RECONNAISSANCE- and I know that this isn't an option for everyone, but this is a vital part of my process, go for a walk. I take along a recycled plastic grocery bag, for found objects, leaves, bones ( I know this sounds a little gross), moss, feathers, stones, and shells. If it's not to big, or going to damage the ecosystem by my taking it, I take it.  When I walk, I guess it's really more like hiking, I leave the trail, I walk through the forest like a deer, smelling the fragrance of warm pine needles, rotten old trees, sweet wildflowers, and rich earth.  My mind is open, unburdened, and the ideas begin to flow.  I take lots of photos, which usually don't have a lot of high quality, but help recapture the feeling I had while walking.

  Once I get home, I look through my bag of finds and photos and the creative juices begin to flow. Music can be really inspiring too. One of my current favorites is The Cave Singers. They have a nice folky sound that makes you want to commune with nature. "Hen of the Woods" is my favorite song of theirs. Iron and Wine is good too, extremely calming!

If you're at all like me, and very inspired by nature. I can guarantee these suggestions will help blast away the scourge of creative block!

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