Like all artists, I struggle with feeling blocked. Normally, I get the supplies out, table ready, then sit down to create, but can’t come up with a single thing. Recently, I just let go and put my critic in her toybox. A few of us gathered and sat down with several sculpting books, tools and lots of clay. For the first time I just started following the instructions exactly. I really don’t like patterns because I always want to come up with my own idea. But, this time things were different. I didn’t put any investment into the outcome, what I would do with the creature once created or if I even would finish. I attempted the heart first. Simple, easy, elegant. I didn’t do much of the steampunk, but once I had one thing done, I had enough confidence to try something a little harder.
Next, I used her guidelines to create my own version of the chameleon. I learned a TON. Now, I haven’t baked him yet, but that’ll be soon. See, I’m waiting until I have a full tray load to make the energy use of the toaster oven worth while. So, since I finished Mr. Gear-head Chameleon, I’ve gone on to create my own bird and finally fake my way through a wee turtle who has eyes like her ghost blobs in the back of the book.
Something I learned from an artist in the Art Aerobics class at Norwescon, the wonderful thing about using a medium different than your norm is that you’re able to make creative decisions and often let go of being critical. It will loosen up your “I must create” grip on your inspiration and allow the ideas to flow again. I thought that to be an interesting idea, the artist/speaker told of her experience cutting up and resewing together stuffed toys – very different than drawing. So, without forcing any of this, I found another medium I enjoy, can be creative in, and just might be able to make some new and interesting characters with. Oooo they’ll all have their own voices, don’t cha know?