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 and 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…