What to do when you’re STUCK? Inspiration, creativity is blocked, and you the artist become frozen and frustrated!

Being “stuck” in your creativity is not an uncommon situation for visual artists, writers, musicians or any other genre of performing artists. How do we unblock this impasse? Some suggest visiting a museum and looking at the Masters, others say take an art class, or walk in the park, or read a book. Many books and articles have been written on this topic. Connecting with your creative side…. again!

I have been in this “STUCK” crisis for a few months.

On March 20, 2022, I moved from our house and my studio (which I received a grant for in 2003) after twenty-two years of living, creating art, being inspired, and developing my art career. Moving was a big disruption in my life. My surroundings changed radically, and my inspiration died, my creativity went sour. This studio contained years of collected items, things that only an artist would find inspiring. Inside were old, rusted pieces of metal, broken barbie doll legs, bones, piled up funny odd shapes from nature, shells and my tools. Hanging from the studio ceiling were unfinished wire sculptures, drawings pinned to the walls and uncompleted carved alabaster stone laying on the floor. My studio was alive with inspiring stuff! But they are gone now discarded, abandoned or sold in a yard sale; they just couldn’t fit in the storage space. I packed my drill, skill saw and carving tools, linoleum, printing inks, printing paper and other important items into small containers and cried!!

Months later I’ve moved into a new place, a new apartment, a new studio. I miss my old studio! I’m organizing my new space. Trying too anyway! Setting up the table, the inking place, the cutting place the printing place. It is certainly not the ideal printmaking studio, but it will have to be so the creating process of printmaking will continue.

Yet I can’t seem to get out of the starting gate. I’m stuck! In between time and space. Shutting off the left brain is difficult and energizing the right brain seems painful. I’ve gone for my walks, visited museums, took a class and read some books. I’ve taken off my shelves two books that inspire me “Breath for the Bones” by Luci Shaw and ‘Unlocking the Heart of the Artist” by Matt Tommey. Hopefully the walks, the reading, the museums will get me “unstuck” and on the creative path again.
The famous painter Wolf Kahn was asked what he does when he gets STUCK. He said, “He turns the painting to the wall and works on something else.” ( Wolf Kahn lecture: Control and Letting Go)

I guess maybe I need to do that!

Rachel Stewart


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