Monday Musings - 'How I got my Creative Mojo Back'

Recently my desire to create had been absent and I felt like my muse had left me and I had lost my creative mojo.  Sound Familiar?

I know I am not alone in this, hence why I am sharing my thoughts and suggestions today.  Often due to life in general we can lose our desire or simply time on our busy schedules to create and then when we go to get back into things we can't - we feel like we have lost our 'mojo'.  Often when we lose our 'mojo' it announces the arrival of self doubt and self criticism.

For me, I find my creating very therapeutic and I call it my Sanity Keeper, so when trying to get back my mojo and into my creativity I often find myself looking through some of my art books and other art stuff which I am sure you probably do to when you are at the point of needing inspiration to create and find your mojo again.

Looking for mine recently brought home a good reminder of ways that have worked for me in the past and I quickly rediscovered my creativity.

It started with a weekend away with my girlfriend which included a trip to the Scrapbook Expo and to the State Art Gallery, my friend has recently started watercolor painting and is a paper-crafter and it was her first visit to the gallery.  At the gallery we spent a few hours exploring the exhibits and interpreting the style, evaluating the brush strokes and guessing at the titles of the more abstract works and laughing at what they were, compared to what we thought they would be.  We were amazed by some of the gaudy and ornamental frames of the more dated works etc.  I am sure you get the picture.  It was a most enjoyable day, and put things back into perspective for me about art in general.

The other art stuff which reminded me where to look was my Art Journal Caravan 2014 notes. The overall theme for 2014 is using the Masters as our Muse and so I went back to where I have missed from -  Week 8 (yet another reason I am feeling bad given we are now in week 25).

The Main themes for Week 8 which resonated with me as I perused these pages again were the the creative prompt - CONNECT and the included study of Jackson Pollock who is famous for his abstract works.

It was one of his works and two quotes that spoke to me from these pages and lead me to finding my mojo, so I thought I would share them with you today.

Untitled, Jackson Pollock 1949.

'I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them' Jackson Pollock

It is important when in search of your creativity you don't put added pressure on yourself by trying to work on a set project ie.  your next Design Team project or commission or that card for your work colleagues wedding next weekend.

Scribble - with no rhyme or reason simply pick up your favorite medium be it paint, pencil or other and simply scribble, doodle, brush, color and draw all over the page.  Connect with the medium, the page and your feelings at that moment (be it the feelings you need to let out and then the feelings you are experiencing as you go through this process).

'I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.' Jackson Pollock

Think of your favorite or a famous Artist and look them up on Google and read about them! Peruse some of their works, their thoughts and story and find something that speaks to you.  Why does it speak to you, What is it telling you!  Interpret what it is telling you, think about what you like about this work, is it the colors, the shapes, the style.  Very often famous artists have famous quotes, use them to change your thinking about your own art.
Using a work such as one from the above Artist as inspiration or even a project in a magazine you like or even something you have created before and love, recreate your version of it. Again this is to simply to get you connecting with the process of creating.

These steps have worked for me, I guess the overall point of this process is to not fear making a mistake and just go with the flow and see where it takes you.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you find your creative mojo again when it goes missing! Leave me a comment and let me know what you do!.


Julie Short said...

I'm glad it's back Danie!
I do a similar thing in that I try to go somewhere I have not been to...doesn't have to be grand...and certainly doesn't have to be arty!
I look at books and mags - there's a few thousand to choose from!
The biggest for me is to have a really good tidy up...I clean things and poke about in places normally avoided. It is usually very worthwhile as I find hidden treasure even discovering that a paint or ink has started to dry out is like a "permission to waste it" signal.
Like you when I don't make I get ansty and the nasty little NEGATIVE slips into my headspace...If I have more to try than there is possible time NEGATIVE doesn't have much room.
Keep playing one crayon at a time.

Julie Ann Lee said...

This is so interesting, Danielle! Like Julie, I'm so glad to hear that your mojo returned. The other week I was feeling uninspired and I went with a friend to the Matisse exhibition at London's Tate Modern. Seeing old movies of Matisse, wheelchair bound; but cutting beautiful collage pieces with such joy and enthusiasm for life, using scissors as other artists might use a brush - free-form and abstract - really inspired me! The colour, the vigour and the joy of his collage made me want to go out and just be 'me' and less mindful of what 'other people might think' about what I've created. He reminded me that creating is therapeutic but somehow even more, it's all about living! Julie Ann xxx

Robin Horasanian said...

There are two things that usually help me get out of a funk. One, go sit at the craft table. Yep, just sit. Even if all I do is watch TV and flip through the stuff on my table. The other is to clean the studio. Handle things...go into the cupboard and resort or just put away items left out. I always run into something that I wanted to use and forgot about.

Lynn McAuley said...

What a fabulous post, Danie! Thanks for sharing your process for tracking down your lost mojo. I, too, love to be inspired by the creative work of other talented artists which often leads me into untraveled (and certainly exciting)waters.

Joan said...

If I've lost my mojo, I go out for a walk, immerse myself in nature, take time to "smell the flowers" - literally! Lately I've been finding that if I do some research on the topic of what I'm creating, it gets me more involved and excited to work on the project.
Glad your mojo has returned! Thanks for such an interesting article.

Tammy said...

Wonderful article Julie, glad I stopped by today! Inspiration is all around us, but sometimes we have to stop and look to see!

Becky said...

I go through stages my self Julie, so this post was excellent for me :). When I have no mojo after a few weeks I just reorganized my little space and check out what all of you have been creating and it seems to get me back in the swing, that and the money I have spent on spellbinders and copics, usually wakes me up too :)

Lizzyc said...

Thank you for your tips, some days are just so hard to even get the time to go into my scraproom, let alone have time to just sit and contemplate.. hopefully school holidays will allow me some much needed scrap time..

Karen said...

Wise words Danie. You cannot force creativity. I had the same feelings a month ago and it was really difficult even to think of what I wanted to do with my classes.

Glad you are back and can't wait to see what you will be creating.

MiamiKel said...

What a wise and wonderful post, Danie -- such great words for those of us always stuck in mojo-less land from time to time! I, too, LOVE exploring art exhibits and just loving the art world ~ I've even started dragging my kids to them and they love it. Thanks for inspiring all of us with your work ♥