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  • Creativity and blocks

    I thought of this while talking with a newcomer - well, I'll mention her name if she says it's okay...anyway...what about a discussion about the creative process and mental blocks? Anyone have thoughts they think are helpful in understanding both creativity AND blocks?

    I think it's helpful to understand what creativity is, in order to understand the blocks, but then too, I think creativity is different, perhaps, for everyone, so there's no single answer or explanation.

    I'll start out by saying that I suffer from blocks when I am afraid of wasting materials and suddenly not having them anymore. Most materials are not cheap, and so the money kinda hangs over me, and as long as I don't use things up, I have not wasted them. And I guess that also means I am not very confident, because I feel the materials ARE wasted once I use them. That may or may not make sense to others, but there it is..that's one of the things that hangs me up.

    As I thought about that, I suddenly went out to my shed and made a felted Santa right quickly and it turned out pretty well! Well, well! I'll post it to my felted album tomorrow...

    SO. What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    Hmmm my creativity I suppose is with ideas that I have that pop into my mind, then it's trying to get them out into the real world. I can't draw so have to just create and make.So for me it starts with the inspiration part.Then I think on how I'm going to go about it, then I just do it. I also find that if I take progress photo's it helps to make me get on with a project and finish it, as to me it's like: once there is photographic evidence that I'm actually making something, I know I then have to get on and finish it.
    I must admit that I don't think about wasting materials,( as I do try and buy cheaper materials in the form of old clothes that I can recycle), so I think it must be a different process for everyone.
    I do remember recently that a doll I was creating just didn't seem right, but I luckily had a flash of inspiration with her and she turned out right in the end, so yes...it's great when you get the inspiration. I think that can go though if you leave a project for a long time as you might get bored with it, so I think once started just crack on with it until you finish it, and don't be too hard with yourself and critical.
    Wow, that was a bit long winded!

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    • #3
      My creativity blocks when I have a lot to do and feel overwhelmed by my 'To Do' list, or just need a break and I think that is sometimes the problem when we work for ourselves from home we are always on the job and to take a 'day off' feel guilty about doing it but sometimes we need to do something different after all if you go out to work in an office or shop you have the weekends/days off. It is getting over the mind set and accept that we are entitled just as much as the next man to take time off occasionally. Can be for an hour, a day or longer, take time out to smell the roses.

      Very seldom have a block when in the flow of creating, lucky that way once I know what I am going to do just get on with it and very seldom dry up with ideas constantly have a sketch book with me and my camera to make a note or photo of ideas etc, currently have about 10 journals full of ideas and can spend my 'down time' going back through them to give me ideas of what to make next, never under estimate the joy of creative journals.
      Last edited by Caroleecrafts; 30-04-2011, 10:22 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Caroleecrafts View Post
        constantly have a sketch book with me and my camera to make a note or photo of ideas etc, currently have about 10 journals full of ideas and can spend my 'down time' going back through them to give me ideas of what to make next, never under estimate the joy of creative journals.
        Love this idea! Often my flash of inspiration and ability to make something don't coincide so a note book would be good. I do have a note pad next to my bed to write stuff down so I can go to sleep knowing I wont forget whatever it is.
        I find I need a deadline in order to finish stuff. This is often in the form of craft fairs, or personal requests with a deadline that is immovable eg a piece of jewellery for a special function.

        I work as 'the mood hits' so even if its 11pm and I should be thinking about going to sleep, I am more successful if I go and work until 1 or 2am than if I get some sleep first and then try and get that spark back. OH is the opposite but that I think is the morning vs night person type.

        I get a block when asked to make something for someone with too little idea of what they want. I would rather someone leave the design / interpretation up to me but give me loads of hints, colour shape, size etc than risk handing them something they may hate.

        Thanks for making me think about this Susan! It helps to reflect on strengths and weakness and perhaps next time I feel blocked or unmotivated I will have tips to get round it. Hope I have added something here and not just waffled.
        Terry xxx
        You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
        Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy

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        • #5
          I was lucky to win The Creative Entrepreneur from a blog some years ago but for anyone unsure how to start the process this book is invaluable and so inspirational to read

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          • #6
            That looks VERY interesting, re starting a business from one's creative productions (i.e., one's craft)! Did it discuss any ways to combat creativity blocks? Lucky you to win something...should you buy a lottery ticket?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Aviya Glass View Post
              It helps to reflect on strengths and weakness and perhaps next time I feel blocked or unmotivated I will have tips to get round it. Hope I have added something here and not just waffled.
              Yes, yuo have! Maybe we should all make lists of what our strengths are, and maybe even lists of things that help us move forward in the creative process...and stick it on the wall over our work spaces!

              Also about the sleep thing - do you find it easier to be creative in the middle of the night than in the daytime? Do you think it's because all the rest of the world has quietened down or is "leaving you alone?"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cosmic grammie View Post
                Yes, yuo have! Maybe we should all make lists of what our strengths are, and maybe even lists of things that help us move forward in the creative process...and stick it on the wall over our work spaces!

                Also about the sleep thing - do you find it easier to be creative in the middle of the night than in the daytime? Do you think it's because all the rest of the world has quietened down or is "leaving you alone?"
                OH says the sleep thing is cos I am weird! He may have a point but the reality is I have always been like that. When I was at school (teen years) I would come home and go to sleep for 2 hours then watch TV, eat, loaf around and then start my homework at around 9-10pm. It may have to do with the 'leaving me alone' as I don't like disruptions and work much better in solitude and quiet.
                I am definitely more creative and also more efficient at night. I wonder though if I lived somewhere very quiet if that would apply? I don't consciously think 'it's quiet I'll go and work' I just feel inspired and respond to that feeling because I know I wont 'get it back' if I leave it until the next day.

                It is 23h25 here now and I am going to start cooking as I have guests for lunch, much easier and much less effort for me to work now than try and get up early!
                Terry xxx
                You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
                Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aviya Glass View Post
                  It is 23h25 here now and I am going to start cooking as I have guests for lunch, much easier and much less effort for me to work now than try and get up early!
                  Won't it be cold by lunch time? Sorry,

                  I find i have two areas that can get blocked. One is the design area, when that happens I make something simple like tops or wands that don't need much concentration, often things will start to come together then and I can get going again. The other is in the skill area, I have a lot going on at the moment with big changes in my life and I find it hard to do anything that requires a lot of concentration. I spent today just sanding pendant blanks as I couldn't focus on some goblets I have to make. Occasionally I just accept that today it is a waste of time trying to turn so go and do something else.

                  Pete
                  "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bodrighy View Post
                    Won't it be cold by lunch time? Sorry,

                    I find i have two areas that can get blocked. One is the design area, when that happens I make something simple like tops or wands that don't need much concentration, often things will start to come together then and I can get going again. The other is in the skill area, I have a lot going on at the moment with big changes in my life and I find it hard to do anything that requires a lot of concentration. I spent today just sanding pendant blanks as I couldn't focus on some goblets I have to make. Occasionally I just accept that today it is a waste of time trying to turn so go and do something else.

                    Pete


                    Hope they are good life changes Pete and successful. Don't forget we are here if you need to talk.

                    I always keep pen and paper by the bed. Its mostly poetry that comes to me in the night and it just runs round and round in the head all night if I don't write it down. Other inspiration/creativity , well, I sort of start something and build on it as I go.
                    Just re read that and it sounds daft, lets see if I can explain. Its something like having a piece of cloth in your hand and thinking "I know, an orange square wouldn't look bad here" so you add it, then you decide a pink circle, then perhaps a yellow triangle. Look at it again and decide it might look better if you sew round them to emboss them, and so it goes on, eventually you end up with a bed quilt from a six inch square of fabric and think "My word, didn't I do well".
                    Carol
                    God helps them that help themselves.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Caroleecrafts View Post
                      My creativity blocks when I have a lot to do and feel overwhelmed by my 'To Do' list, or just need a break and I think that is sometimes the problem when we work for ourselves from home we are always on the job
                      Snap! I'm exactly the same.
                      Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bodrighy View Post
                        Won't it be cold by lunch time? Sorry,

                        I find i have two areas that can get blocked. One is the design area, when that happens I make something simple like tops or wands that don't need much concentration, often things will start to come together then and I can get going again. The other is in the skill area, I have a lot going on at the moment with big changes in my life and I find it hard to do anything that requires a lot of concentration. I spent today just sanding pendant blanks as I couldn't focus on some goblets I have to make. Occasionally I just accept that today it is a waste of time trying to turn so go and do something else.

                        Pete
                        I hope the changes are positive ones Pete and it all works out well for you. I have the advantage of my crafting not being my livelihood, and it must be very difficult when it is and you have these blocks.

                        I need to restock a gallery that sells my jewellery, but I have made so little I would consider gallery quality for ages but I have to get my act together PDQ. I have lots of personal and work stuff going on too, so my concentration levels are well down. Material costs as Grammie mentioned are definately a consideration with Silver skyrocketing in the last 6 months I definately don't want to waste it by producing something I don't like and don't want to sell.

                        I generally have the ideas and sketch all the time, but you can just sit there with drawings and materials and you pfaff around doubting your original intention and before you know it you have wasted hours and done nothing.

                        Mo.XX
                        Mo. Bodrighy Wood.
                        Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage..Lao Tzu.
                        www.bodrighy.co.uk
                        https://twitter.com/#!/AuntieMornie

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                        • #13
                          Oh yes I say nodding in Churchill dog mode.

                          In Victorian times I would have been labelled a woman, in my youth I was manic depressive, now I am bi polar (but not as bad as the other females in my family).......so I have days of fizzing whent ideas bubble over and I can multitask like the clappers and make stuff 11 hours a day. Then my mind goes black, every limb aches and I can't get out of my armchair to save my life.
                          Long ago a friend told me to go with the flow so, like Pete, when days are grey I do stupid tasks that only use one brain cell... sanding is in that category .... as is hand sewing in straight lines.
                          On my good days I chop up £100 a metre silks without batting an eyelid.
                          So stuff that blocks me are:
                          the black days,
                          getting ME (boy! that was bad!),
                          being tired,
                          going wrong (because I'm tired or can't do sums - bit of a disaster when you are making fitted garments!),
                          in the middle of a great invention or major problem solve only to realise I'm completely on the wrong track,
                          imagining how I want something to look then realising no one is producing my basic materials.

                          Solutions:
                          stop and sleep,
                          stop and do something mindless - like the housework,
                          make an excuse to go shopping but walk (it's miles to the shops).
                          eat something sweet,
                          surf the internet,
                          decide to dye some fabric or make componants myself.

                          Right! Today is not a bad day. I'd better jump up and get back to my sewing and metal bashing.

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                          • #14
                            Loads of good stuff on here to read is good for inspiration. I once went to the loo and got that flash of inspiration for my final collection designs.

                            Generally, when I work with my fascinators the materials speak to me (! ) and then I follow that through. If making a commisison that I am not keen on, it is harder to work up the enthusiasm to finish it. And as mentioned before I generally go off and do something else ( but not housework) recently been re laying my old patio slabs, so a bit of physical exercise ( heaven forbid ! ) has worked wonders, as does watching royal weddings.

                            I often get tired about 8 and then wake up, so might start something about 10 ish and work on it til I realise I gotto go to work in the morning.

                            I dont think there is an answer to this one, each of us works in our own sweet ways !
                            If you dont have a go ................... you will never know

                            https://www.facebook.com/HatPiece

                            www.HatPiece.co.uk

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bogwell4018 View Post
                              Loads of good stuff on here to read is good for inspiration. I once went to the loo and got that flash of inspiration for my final collection designs.
                              I am almost, but not quite, frighted to ask what the inspiration was ??!!!! LOL

                              Mo.XX
                              Mo. Bodrighy Wood.
                              Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage..Lao Tzu.
                              www.bodrighy.co.uk
                              https://twitter.com/#!/AuntieMornie

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