Back to Basics…

My blog has been quiet of late owing, in part, to the fact that, after all the hoo-ha of the final year at uni and subsequent exhibition at Cromford Mills, I found myself at a crossroads as to what I was going to do next! Although my Connecting Threads installation is being exhibited at the Charnwood Museueum, Loughborough from 5th April – 1st June this year, I was totally lacking in inspiration for further work.

For me, Connecting Threads was so far out of my comfort zone that it became all-consuming; for about a year I hardly thought or did anything else. So much so, that when I tried to return to my roots and do some drawing my confidence (not great at the best of times) was shattered – faced with that white piece of paper I was totally inhibited and couldn’t even make the simplest of marks, so much pressure was I putting on myself to come up with another concept to equal Connecting Threads. I suppose it was the equivalent to writer’s block.

As 2014 began I knew I couldn’t carry on like this so I went back to basics…and devised a four-point plan to lift my spirits and hopefully kickstart my creative juices!

Connecting Threads arose from my love of drawing but how was I going to conquer my ‘white paper syndrome’? Well one of the books I referred to for my dissertation was ‘Drawing Projects – an exploration of the language of drawing’ by Mick Maslen andDrawing Projects - an exploration of the language of drawing Jack Southern. Interspersed with interviews with established artists about the way in which they use and view drawing within their own practice, there are a series of projects or exercises designed to help you think more about drawing as marks rather than a finished piece. Thinking about drawing in this way removes the pressure of assuming you have to create a masterpiece each time so I have decided to work my way through the projects. I will let you know how I get on…Even just making the above decision has felt like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel much more positive.

I think a contributing factor to my lack of inspiration is that, feeling downhearted, I have shut myself away.  So in order to overcome this isolation the other parts of my ‘Regain my mojo’ plan are to try and visit a gallery/exhibition at least once a month and try to do some workshops with artist’s whose work I like as well as work my way through my artistic book wishlist, which is quite long! Again, I will keep you updated with my progress in further posts.

Devising the above strategy has made me wonder how other artists go about finding inspiration or ‘regaining their mojo’. I would be really interested to know…

Needle of Knowledge                                  Needle of Knowledge Obelisk

                                         Stefan Knapp


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