The artist’s version of writer’s block?

I say I am in a creative lull, but really I am not.  I have written nearly every day for several months, either by blog or by journal.  I have finished a painting that has sat in my studio for 10 years, I painted several other paintings this summer.  I dabbled with watercolor and sold 2 of the 3 paintings.  I have knit several things in the last few weeks.  I have dressed as a pirate and play acted at festivals.  But I have not sewn any dolls, though their spirits whisper in my ear, bring us to life.  I have done a few doodles, but I am bored with them.  Then I discovered someone decided to call the process ZEN Tangles, and I find myself going “doh I coulda done that”.  But I didn’t.  Its all good to me, someone at The Syracuse Peace Council’s Plowshares Arts and Crafts Festival apologized, sorry you are not making art.  But I am.  And for me it is not up to what I want, it is not matching the vision in my artist’s mind.  I fumble, I struggle, I throw things away, I tear things out, I write stuff and then delete it.  This is all good to me.  It is part of being an artist.

But I did by a book that encourages one to envision the life they want through art.  And since then I have been attempting the first task, which is to spend 15 minutes a day doing what gives me joy.  Today I started knitting a mitten using Ukrainian patterns, and the colors of the Ukrainian flag, bright blue and yellow.  Yesterday I looked for my pattern book and gave up, today I found it.  When I say pattern book, I don’t mean for the mitten itself but rather for the color work that is truly the joy of knitting for me.

And while I was at Plowshares I spoke to several artisans, felt inspired, looked at what other people are doing, and came home feeling okay that I didn’t apply this year.  It just wasn’t right for me.  I have this thing brewing, or else I am closing off a door, I don’t know which, I just feel as though there is potential energy and I just have not tapped it yet.  And I am all good with it.

I know other artists struggle with creative lulls, what are some ways that they overcome this, and figure out a way to bring all that stuff back up to the surface?

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