Saturday, March 25, 2017

Altered Book Workshop

Creative expression... by the book.

I recently had the pleasure of participating in another art workshop at the California Center For Creative Renewal. (You may remember the collage workshop I did there back in January.) 
This one was about altered books: using an entire book as the foundation for a series of page-turning collages. 

Messy workspace, making altered books

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Creative Block

Some advice for getting unstuck

I love my new studio space, though am finding it very important to get out of it and hit the refresh button.
"Cre8tive" spelled out in blocks and stencils
Creative Blocks
Has this ever happened to you? 
After weeks of productivity, I found that I was starting many projects, but struggling to finish them. 
And my work space got more and more cluttered with half-finished work. 
Soon, it got even harder to focus and prioritize. 

Cluttered workspace

Instagram friends and support

I’m always inspired by the works I see on Instagram, and even more so chatting up other artists and getting to know them via the internet.  

I sent out a call for help to my Instagram friends for advice: 
What do you do when you are creatively stuck?

Here are some of the words of wisdom I received.

All Instagram photos used with permission.

jenakkermans Instagram photo
Jennifer / @jenakkermans  

Jennifer's Advice: Get out and look at art, 
lock yourself out of your studio and put a time frame on it, 
so when you get back in you are ready to create!


artbylindab Instagram photo
Linda's Advice: Take a long, long walk and blame the full moon for any restlessness.


amywillcut Instagram photo
Amy / @amywillcut  

Amy's Advice: Being out in nature is a great reboot.


wokieclarkfraser Instagram photo

Wokie's Advice: Get out and do something cultural, like a dance class or a play.


hereachickthereachick Instagram photo

Kerry's Advice: Move on to something different, pick through boxes of forgotten things.


I sense a theme here: stop trying to force the art to happen, take a break, and get a change of scenery.

So that’s exactly what I did. I got out of my studio and out of my head. 
I went out for the day, and it was so good to get out!

A simple errand drew itself out into an entire afternoon as I began to relax and enjoy the break. 
Then, as if the universe decided to reinforce the point, this little jaunt out of the house led me to an unexpected opportunity to promote my assemblage art! 

By days end, I had rented a small display space to show my work!
There’s nothing like a new gig to get you moving!

My new display wall at Urban Barn
My new display wall at Urban Barn! Soon to be filled with my original assemblage art.
This change of events fueled my creative fire to complete a few of the pieces that have been sitting in my studio unfinished, 
and to even get started on a few new pieces.

iPhone box assemblages
These unfinished iPhone box assemblages were sitting on my workbench for over a month. Once I got home, they were finished within the hour!

I now have a great store of advice that I can turn to the next time I find myself cluttered and unfocussed in the studio. 

5 things that are working for me right now…

Look at creative block as growth 
Consider this: "I'm not running out of ideas, just trying to push myself into better ones.”  
(Mike McQuade, Graphic Designer and Illustrator)

Don't browbeat yourself 
When you're in the necessary in-between times, that's when most creativity gets its start. 
A lot of thinking time is crucial, and it happens where you can't see it. 
(Douglas Rushkoff, Writer)

Don't be afraid to step away 
Take a break and come back to it with a clear head.

Grab some "You Time"
Working on too many projects at once can stifle your creativity. 
If you're feeling burned out, take some time to yourself and turn everything off for a couple of days. 
That’s right. Get off the dang Internet!

Get out and walk
Try a brisk walk with head phones and energetic music.
I like Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk” right now, a real mood lifter.


Do you ever get stuck in a creative rut? 
How have you found your way out? 
Do you ever ask creative friends for help? 

Share what works for you in the comments! 
We all need a little advice once in a while.

Works in progress

A big heartfelt Thank You to my Instagram friends who helped me out! 

I couldn’t have escaped the creative block without your expert advice!

Denise signature photo

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Art Journal = Art Journey

Keeping my resolution, in my own way.

Back at the beginning of the year, I took on the challenge of starting an art journal by making a collage every day of the year. 
(See my original post from January 7th here.)

My New Day collage in progress

I’m proud to say I have kept up with my goal. 
However, it has not turned out the way I expected!