Thursday 15 September 2011

Creativity Map by Tammy Durham

So, with this venture of this new blog looming... I worried about what to write.
My creativity has seemingly gone into hibernation - or something. I haven't drawn, written, or created much of anything in quite a long time. There are many reasons why - some that I can truly name, others that I can't.

So, what do you do when your creativity takes a break?

Well... I personally start to feel a little bit lost. But, I also feel like I've lost my map. How do you get back to creating? Having that creative outlet? My steps? First - write this post to share with you lovely people! Isn't admitting that you have a problem the first step?

Hi, I'm Tammy. I'm an artist who hasn't made any art in WAY too long. So, now I've said it out loud to you (Yes. I said it out loud as well as typing the words in this post!) Now, I have to figure out what the next step for me is. I'm hoping that other of you lovelies will have some ideas that spark my creativity, light a fire under my butt, or otherwise help to get me creating again! (The painting to the left is one that I created several years ago in an art therapy session. It isn't one of my favorites, but I like the message. "Remember"... To create, to dance, to live life to the fullest...)

I know that I want to be making art. I have the supplies, I have the desire... I even have the time. I also have all of the handy excuses to NOT create. No room, no money, too tired, too hot... you name it. That whiny voice pops up in my head a lot. And way too often, I listen to it.

So, today, I'm acknowledging that whiny self. But, I am also putting her in her place! I'm going to take baby steps to getting back to creating art (of any kind! Writing, drawing, collaging, cooking...) Right here, with you, I'm making a commitment to do something creative once a week (to start with). If I can get on that track, I think that my creativity will flow again more easily. I know that creating will help me find my happy too.

What do you do when you lose your creativity map? What steps do you take to get back on the right path?

Tammy is an artist using many mediums to create and a web designer/editor by trade. She is the owner of Off-Center Studio.


  1. I'm art-blocked myself at the moment, so I don't have much insight into getting back on the path. I do know that reading The Artist's Way and writing Morning Pages each day helps me to loosen up the block.

    I like that you consider writing, cooking, etc., as creative artistic endeavors too. When I consider that, I see that I am creating art, just in different mediums. :)

    Hang in there. Admitting you are stuck is a big first step toward getting unstuck.

  2. Sometimes i need a break, no art around, and suddenly all the desires come back, the ideas too ! :)Tiny paint or huge sewing, it always comes back. May be you need a break, because your mind is too full of the others projects...

  3. Switching gears. When the writing isn't flowing, i get myself out into the kitchen. When the watercolors are just mud, i haul out the sewing machine. I find that just doing something else sometimes breaks the mask of being stuck. My go to things are baking bread ... heals lots of different senses and just the smell can make me want to dance!

  4. I find myself switching from thing to thing until I find what feels right. But the thing that helps me the most lately is to remember that I am being creative when I put on a particular necklace, or move a picture to a different table, or eat outside rather than inside.
    I love your picture. The people look like they are really having fun.

  5. you know I have found with just about just have to sit down and do it. JUST DO IT....sit down...grab something...and let it just happen. You will be surprised what might materialize. Often I just have to grab some art supplies and I just sit down..NO idea what I might do..and I maybe even just doodle...and then out of that doodle comes a bigger doodle which turns into a sketch or drawing and then something more from there. It is a simple phrase that I have found really cuts the quick out of all my excuses....I just have to do it.

  6. I usually keep reading, and enjoying beautiful art, listen to classical - Adagio for Strings - Samuel Barber and the like, and wait for the muse to return.

    She is not to be forced, she seems to need wooing. She is definitely a woman. : )

  7. For me, it's usually the "just do it" thing as well. When I was first writing a book-length piece, an adviser told me "butt in chair, fingers on keyboard," and that's still what does it for me--as long as I get in a good balance of downtime too. Another way: just play. Give yourself permission to make something silly or bad or ugly or childlike--something you would have drawn or painted as a four-year-old. By the way, the painting you posted here is beautiful and fun!