Getting un-stalled, Part 2: Let it Flow, art is a process

Continued from Part 1…

For at least two weeks, no ideas I came up with were getting finished, and nothing was being published. What was I going to do? Just let this blog die?

I’ve started blogs before, and after a period of time they always end up stalled and I rarely get back to them… this happened both last year AND the year before that! In fact, in most of my art projects I eventually get to that point of hitting a wall, where continuing gets really hard and I don’t always know why. If I don’t push through or find a solution for what is blocking me, I never get back to the project. ((I imagine no other writers/artists/creatives out there can relate to this, right?? Ha.))

One of the primary purposes I had for creating this Art blog was to be a venue to encourage other artists in their own work. I certainly didn’t want that to die just because I got stuck in the mud of my own creative process! It appeared that I was now the one in need of encouragement.

Trying not to stay stuck in the mud…

I wrote a little about my dilemma and shared it with friends, receiving some great feedback which made me realize that my posts didn’t need to be quite as formal as I had been making them. A blog is deliberately informal, I was reminded, and a place to share the beginnings of ideas. A good thing, too, as there are dozens of ideas I am juggling in my brain at any given moment.

As my friend Rose put it “Art is a process. This is you talking about your process…. Just let it flow.” That was immensely helpful, and I’m going to start practicing doing just that. I think the less I allow my perfectionist tendencies to slow things down to a crawl, the more I can say “yep, this is ready enough” and just post and put my work out there. Simply these couple of posts about getting un-stalled, discussing my process and not being afraid of being open about my struggles, seems to be a huge step forward for me. Already it has loosened up my highly charged energy around editing and sharing my art. Now I can keep moving forward.

So I’d like to hear from the artists and creatives: how have you worked through periods of being stalled with a project? What do you find useful for moving past road blocks, or going around them? How do you get yourself un-stalled or un-stuck? Send me a message or leave a comment.

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  1. 2

    This is something I have definitely struggled with! My solution? Switch mediums. Many times I will be trying to force an art into my life and then find that I am not in the right mood for that particular medium.

    For example, if I am feeling aggressive, my painting gets rigid and ugly. This is when I switch to Jiu-Jitsu or Muay-Thai! Sometimes just singing a lot is what my soul pushes me toward, but recently I have decided to learn some guitar. 😊 In any case, there is an art to suit your growth, your mental state; your mood. You just have to be flexible.
    Art is an intellectual virtue. It is not something that anyone should live without. It might get frustrating to bounce from talent to talent and never “perfect” a single one, but they are a means to an end, not an end in themselves, and that is what we must keep in mind.

  2. 3
    Christen Mattix

    Every year for the past two years I have found that my energy and focus starts to get sticky and slow sometime in the dog days of Summer. It’s a sign that it’s time to seek out my accountability partner who is another artist. We do a 13 day challenge where we have to make one artwork a day–any medium, any subject, any size. We focus on Quantity rather than Quality. We hold each other accountable and we meet at the end of 13 days to share our work. And we don’t pick at each other’s faults but rather celebrate our breakthroughs and discoveries. It’s very life giving, and has led to several breakthroughs for me! Thanks for your honest post and for getting this discussion going. I look forward to many more!

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