I've got a major case of unspiration.
Does it happen to you? What do you do when it strikes?
"Browse Pinterest." some will say.
But what if you're completely saturated with it all? There is certainly no shortage of inspiring projects out there. It seems in this day of social media, a trend is everywhere in mere moments. It's hard to feel original, hard to feel like you could ever be noticed amongst all the other amazing artists out there. So, although others work can be inspiring, it's not where I turn when I need my creative batteries charged.
"Read a magazine." others might suggest.
Sigh. Mostly the same problem here. I don't want to look to furniture for inspiration. I don't want to copy others work, and it just feels like it's all been done. Pinterest has taught me that. Someone, somewhere has already done what you are going to do. It can be discouraging.
"Take a break." some will say.
I thought that seemed like a viable plan. So, I took some time off. I haven't painted since December. My space at Adjectives has pieces for sale in it, so nothing is immediately pressing me to create...but, I'm a little worried. I've never gone this long without the itch. I used to take a day or two off from painting and I was dying to get back into the garage.
I suppose we all have our reasons for creative slumps. Life gets in the way, we get burned out, our attention shifts... There will always be setbacks with running any business, let alone running a creative business - and lack of inspiration can be a big setback on the road to success.
I guess that's it for me - my attention has shifted. My boys are growing so fast. I spent 2012 painting almost non-stop, it was practically (ok...totally) an obsession. I became obsessed with growing my business. I missed out on so much of my boys last year. I have enjoyed these last two months with them more than I can express.
Now, Liam & I walk Noah to and from school every day. We take "the long way" because it's so beautiful. We pass these ancient, massive trees and an orange grove that is bursting with fresh fruit and orange blossoms. Have you ever smelled an orange blossom? I seriously don't think heaven could smell any sweeter. Sometimes our walks are quiet, sometimes they are filled with excited little boy chit-chat about his day. I absolutely treasure this time, and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
We are moving slower. I am laughing more and stressing less. Playing games with my children instead of worrying about doing all the dishes. Eating dinner at the table instead of in the car, out of a fast food bag, while on the go. Making time to talk to my husband. Cooking with him, then cleaning up together. Going on dates with him. Going for family bike rides. Reading books. Sleeping in on Sundays! Taking my boys to Disney. Unpacking and decorating our new home.
I am happy. I find myself savoring every moment of it.
I am done with the glorification of "busy."
That being said, I need to get back to work. I can't let everything I've worked for slip away. I sell things I love to create in a store owned by the most fabulous people, with a waiting list for spaces that's a mile long. I am a retailer for a fabulous line of products that I love to use. How amazing is that? I can't ignore the opportunities I've been given and have created over the last few years of work. With that kind of pressure, inspiration starts to feel like a slippery bar of soap. The harder I try to squeeze it, hold it, use it... the faster it slips out of my hands.
The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
So here's my plan.
I call it the "take creativity by the balls and show it who's boss" plan:
First - devising a new schedule with creating in mind. Start some good habits. Some structure, so that the bursts of creativity don't rule my life completely. I am hoping it'll be like my what friend LeeAnn says, "Where energy flows, focus goes."
The second part of my plan might hurt your feelings.
I hope not, because I mean no ill will. I am grateful to everyone who comes to this blog and listens to me, takes the time to comment, and shares this page with their friends.
But to be perfectly blunt, I am going to forget about you a little bit. I'm giving you the old "it's not you, it's me" routine, because it really is me. I am going to release myself from the pressure that I put on myself to "wow" blog readers and Facebook followers. Each project simply can not be better than the next. I am not Miss Mustard Seed. I am not Stiltskin Studios. I am not Annie Sloan. I am just me.
I am going to remove from my mind how many repins, likes, shares my projects might get. How many hits a blog post can get. I will remove myself from incessantly stalking Facebook, Pinterest and blogs for inspiration, the way a zombie goes looking for brains. I will go back to being inspired by nature, fashion and a million other little things...you know, Pre-Pinterest.
Once upon a time, I painted because I loved it. I want to get back to that. You'll still hear from me, of course. I really love writing and blogging, as much as I love painting. I just need to forget that anyone is listening or paying any attention. :)
I am grateful for my break. I am grateful for my work. I am ready to find some balance. I am ready to kick some ass.