I briefly mentioned in a recent post that halfway through 2019 art had taken a step back. I was so busy in the summer and it wasn’t really until the fall that I noticed that I hadn’t painted, drawn or even crafted much of anything. I did a couple of knitting projects (pair of socks and a hat), which felt good to keep busy while watching tv, but it doesn’t have that same messy, creative exploration that I associate with art. In the fall I sewed my garlands and designed some stationery on the computer. Another element to this was my studio was a WRECK. I’d make some progress, cleaning up my desk, but then promptly get a couple orders and everything would be right back to square one.
I try not to let “blocks” get too stuck in my head. I tend to think creative blocks are entirely self perpetuated and the more attention you pay to them and more fear you have, the more power it has. Instead I try to think of dry periods as a needed break, a period where I’m filling my empty creative well. So, I tried not to focus on it too much, or come down on myself about it, but I did miss it. I’d sit down and try to work on something and just couldn’t do anything. Finally, as the new year approached I felt like I was going to be ready to do creative work. For the last several years January was time for Pattern January but last year it took me months to finish all my patterns and I felt like it was time for a break, and Anika (who organizes and hosts it) didn’t mention doing it this year, so I assumed she also needed a break, which was fine by me. I wanted to work on creative projects, but maybe ease into it and that vision didn’t include an intensive 30 day project.
The new year arrives and of course I got SICK. Ever since starting to get the flu shot and fitbit-ing I don’t really get the flu or colds like I did before, or if I do, it’s just a blah day or two. This January I was really down for weeks. It went into my ears and I couldn’t hear anything. I was so afraid of it moving into my chest and getting pneumonia, so I took it extremely easy and rested lots. By the time the cold moved on I was READY to get creative, and to get back to making.
Here it is March, and I’m full of energy and excitement. I’ve been cleaning and organizing in my studio. It’s still a mess, but I have made huge progress on my drawing/work table and have been enjoying spending evenings in there.
One thing different this January was that it was the first one in years that I haven’t participated in Pattern January. I think I needed a little break, and because I was exiting the fog of a creative block, I wanted to be able to explore lots of different areas, not just focus on patterns. I have always gotten a lot of amazing work from it each year and definitely look forward to doing it again!
Last month I dove into the work of artist Leigh Ellexson. I had been following her on Instagram for quite a while, but only superficially. For some reason I thought she was one of the artists from Cotton&Steel, Now Ruby Star Society (perhaps I started following her at the same time as all those artists). Turns out she is actually quite young, in her mid 20s and has an extensive youtube library of videos she has shared. Binging her videos during downtime where I couldn’t be in my studio, got me even more out of my inspirational funk and excited to get messy and explore again.
Through Leigh, I got excited to create a giphy account and start making some gifs, with the potential of having them available to use in instagram stories.
I also made little tiny notepads, to go with my little tiny pencil illustrations. I really would love to have them as post-it note style pads, but when I look online, it seems the only places I could find that offered that service, were at very specific sizes, not my own. So, for now, they are notepads.
I ordered a new stamp, using my own logo/lettering. Why did it take me so long to do that? I ordered one years ago, but it was from a company where they had fonts to choose from, so I just picked one, but since then, I’ve embraced my own lettering to use as a logo. This time I used rubberstamps.com, where they have a variety of stamps, but this rubber stamp with the recessed wood topper was the type I was looking for. If you’d like to order your own and want a 20% discount, here’s my friend code