Guest Author - Maribeth Lysen
Do you find yourself overwhelmed with all the projects you want to tackle? Or half-way through multiple creative works that aren't going anywhere? If you can relate, you might be feeling pretty stuck. Here are twenty ideas to help you when you're overwhelmed or feel stuck in your art:
1. Add a favorite quote or phrase to your painting. You can cover it up with paint, leave part of it to show through, or make it a focal point, but the intention behind the words will influence your piece.
2. Grab a magazine to flip through. Any magazine is fine. Notice what images and/or colors you are drawn too. Incorporate them into your piece.
3. Add some ink to your piece. Use a spray bottle to create a wash effect or simply drip the ink on your canvas.
4. Create several backgrounds all at one time. This can get your momentum flowing and next time you step in the studio you won't be staring at a blank page.
5. Put the piece away and start working on something else. Tomorrow or the next day come back to the original piece. You will have fresh eyes.
6. Stop working, stretch, and go for a walk. If the weather outside prevents a walk, play for a few minutes. This can be playing with children or an animal, playing a game of solitaire, or a computer game for a few minutes. Something that will give your mind a short rest. Then go back to your studio.
7. Set a timer and determine how much longer you are going to work. This also works if you are having a hard time getting in the studio. Decide you will only work for 10 minutes and see what happens. If you feel like stopping at the end of 10 minutes, stop working. If you want to keep going, keep going.
8. Add a stamp. Break out your stamps and ink pads and go to town. Even if you cover it up later, the inked images add texture.
9. Try something totally different. If you are a painter, grab some charcoal and start sketching. If you always work on canvas, try working on a cigar box or in an altered book.
10. Make an artist date with a friend or with yourself and go to an art museum.
11. Take your sketch book and some colored pencils and head to a bookstore, library, coffee shop, or cafe. Make short sketches of the world going on around you.
12. Take your work outside. Sometimes a change of pace is all you need to get your creative juices flowing again.
13. Make a to-do list for the creative pieces you want to work on. Then put a reasonable due date on each project. Hint: limit the list to a reasonable number like 10. Otherwise you run the risk of overwhelming yourself even further by creating a list that feels impossible to accomplish.
14. Try adding college elements like special papers, alphabet stickers, images, or book text.
15. Create a page in your art journal dedicated to feeling overwhelmed. Then let it go.
16. Add your favorite stencil and some acrylic paint.
17. Is there a holiday, celebration, or change in season coming up? Pick one and use it as a theme for your piece.
18. Choose a page at random from your favorite craft or art book and use it as inspiration.
19. Jot down five things you are grateful for and incorporate them in your piece.
20. Create a vision board or dream board for your art.