Every artist has moments when they don't know what to create. I've been feeling that way for a little while, so I've come to the conclusion that I need an inspiration break. Some of my greatest leaps in art have been when I took a break and then came back to it with fresh vision. I've heard tales from many an artist who talk about taking a year or two off to get fresh inspiration. Sometimes ideas need breathing room and when you take a break you can come back refreshed for another round of art making.
A few key steps to having a meaningful break from visual art are as follows:
1. Get a sketch book or art journal and keep drawing so your skills don't get rusty. Make a decision to practice one small sketch a day so you can keep honing your craft even while you pause to get fresh inspiration.
2. Start taking photos of your surroundings! This is a huge one and something I plan to do in the weeks ahead. Taking photos is so fun and you can really get present by snapping photos of your life. The photos will give you fresh ideas and inspiration for when you want to get making again.
3. Finish up a few outstanding projects that have been waiting in the wings. I have some quilts that need completed, pillows to stuff, art quilts to finally finish and I've been dying to get all my scraps sewn into larger workable pieces. So I've been working on tying up those loose ends and it feels great to be getting some closure on those UFO's! (Unfinished Projects!)
4. Look over your portfolio. Take time to go through your work and see what you want to do less of and what you want to play up the next time around. Even just looking through old art can be incredibly satisfying to see how far you have come.
5. Really savor moments with family and friends! I'm taking my break as an opportunity to live some life and have some fresh experiences. I've begun working on some classes and the book "The Vein of Gold" so I have artist dates and small trivial projects on the horizon. Take some time to learn about those things that you have been putting off. Or even explore something entirely new!
I've been toying with the idea of quitting art altogether. But then today I realized that I just need a break. So I'm going to get cracking on finding fresh inspiration. I'm going to look high and low and enjoy this time to fill the creative well! Winter is such a great time to take a pause, to slow down and get back to basics. Where do you find fresh inspiration for your creative practice? Sometimes being too forceful with the muse can make her run and hide. Time to enjoy life and invite her back when she is good and ready!.