It's been a very long time since I've painted - I mean, really painted. Inspiration seems to have been happily vacationing for months and months, and I, trying to regain it, have attributed my creative dry spell to a number of reasons. Maybe it's a result of changes in my everyday life, I thought; or maybe it's because I need a big, beautiful watercolor journal. Whether these are truths or blatant excuses, darlings, is of no matter, for just look what can happen if you start painting anyway.
Did you notice the bit of candle wick that fell onto the page as I was adding wax?
Starting - picking up a paintbrush, a camera, a pen - can be one of the most difficult things to do in a creative's life when inspiration has vanished. If we feel we have nothing to give, our minds ask us why we should we begin at all. And so we get discouraged, believing that we have lost our gift, and sink deeper into a creative rut. Let me share a secret with you, darling, one that I must remind myself of again and again and again: often, the inspiration comes in the creating.
If you are a writer, then write. If you find that you've created three pages of gibberish, so be it; it is in the practicing, the mechanical stringing together of words, that a spark of inspiration can be born. If you are a photographer, take pictures of what is near you in this moment. The chair, the table, or the piano: the ordinary can be as incredible and breathtaking as the extraordinary.
And if you are a painter, an art journalist? Scribble on the page. Add candle wax. Glue down three dimensional objects like plastic netting or bubble wrap or sticks. Doodle. Close your eyes and add some paint. Sew with embroidery floss. Let your fingertips dance across the page, leaving swirls of color behind. Drip paint. Be unexpected: purposely use color combinations you aren't drawn to and place images where you don't think they should go - surprise yourself!
The art will come, if you only allow your creative mind the opportunity to come out to play; inspiration likes to run away, laughing, and so loves to be chased. Yes, my dear friends, begin. This is the very most difficult step, a conquering of the mind to make way for the soul. I believe with all my heart that it will open doors to a magnificently rich and colorful world that is waiting for you this very moment. I believe you have masterpieces to create.
I believe in you.
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