Friday, June 18, 2010

Question of the Month--Stumbling Blocks?

Our question for the month is "What is your greatest stumbling block in making art?"


Mine is thinking that I need a big chunk of time in order to make art. So if I look at my day and see that my day has lots of different things already planned in it, I tell myself, "Oops, no time to do art today!" When, in reality, just having one hour is enough time to create a card or clean up my work space or start cutting up some papers for a future project, etc.


My first thought would be time, then clean space and last motivation. But the reality is it's really just me. Recently I read an excellent book, Creative Time & Space by Rice Freeman-Zachery, and it became clear those are just the excuses. I'm not sure why I hold myself back but at least for now I know where not to look for the reasons.


I think the hardest time I have when making art, is trying to choose which idea

to work on. Right now, I have three different necklaces in various stages of

completion and a couple of mixed media pieces sitting and waiting for me to

get back to them. A lot of times the starting is not the problem, it's the

finishing up that gets me.


Finally an easy question!

My MESSY studio.

I tend to work in a frezy when inspired and end up with hardly room to move. When it's a clean slate, it's so easy to just start tinkering. Hence when it's over cluttered, I can't get past the mess and avoid even going in my studio, till I'm inspired to clean. I tell myself in my next life I'll work neater.

A fine mess:


In my experience there have been several stumbling blocks that have and do keep me from making art.

The biggest stumbling block I have experienced was stress on the job. There were many instances of this in my life. The worst included a nasty boss and long hours. Working in retail there were always long arduous hours, whether I liked the job or not. When I worked for a builder as a real estate broker there was the stress of performance to make the sale. Commission is stressful, especially when you intentionally can't live on your draw. I went through a very tough time in the industry where many builders went down including the one I worked for. It was stress to survive.

For 8 more go to:


If I get to a point in a piece of work that visually displeases me, often I can't seem to get beyond it. Needless to say, I have a large graveyard of unfinished pieces.


Hmmm, there are plenty but a big one for me is getting organized with all of the materials I think I may need. It seems that when I finally get going, I find that I need some other items to complete my project and can't seem to find them (even though I know they're around somewhere!) - arrrghhhh! Too much time is wasted looking - so either I end up improvising with something else or else a shopping foray and thus end up with duplicates of the same thing.


HA--that's an easy one--myself!


Lack of focus. I think I'm at my most creative when I work on a series and keep at it, making small experimentations as I go. If I don't have a series going, I feel overwhelmed by options and have a hard time starting or sticking to anything. Every book, magazine, blog seems to pull me in a different direction.

Too many ideas:


Procrastination and lack of motivation keep me from creating. Once my muse wakes me up, I'm not blocked any more and am able to create.


My greatest stumbling block to creating art often happens when I am in the middle of creating an assemblage piece. There are found objects all over the tables of my studio, because I haven't discovered the "perfect" treasure to add to the piece. So I start organizing and putting things back where they belong and soon find the "missing link".


Daily practice! Having been busy creating a new business, I've only
occassionally done a little art here and there. I was surprised to see
that it was challenging to get back into the old familiar rhythms.
Back when I did 30 minutes of art a day, I was mostly in the comforting
flow of brushes, color, texture and discovery.


Curious Works said...

All of the above plus fear...that the finished piece won't live up to what I envisioned...that it won't be original enough...or perfect enough ...that I will have to leave my castle in the air and come back to earth

Robin Olsen said...

Yes, Curious Works--I think that's truly at the heart of everything else!