Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Creative Blahs- Can I beat them?

I'm getting kinda tired of writing about my scrapper block. I'm actually kinda tired of me period. Usually when I get sick of me I take a class so I can learn a new skill and get away from my negative thoughts for a while but unfortunately classes cost money and I have very little of that these days.

Off to the Net for help!

These two posts provided lots of food for thought this week:

  • Julie Fei Fan Balzer's Why I Art Journal Everyday is a great read for those who wonder if it's something they should try. She gives many reasons but the top one for me would be to explore my ideas and FOCUS before I try to make pages that go out in public- a huge block for me as I try to make things "perfect" and end up not making anything at all.
  • Lisa Truesdell's take on making Project Life work for her was so detailed it gave me new insights on tackling daily craft projects. That's the real kicker- trying to do this hobby daily so that you stay current and keep your creative flow going for other projects you may want to tackle.
Gauche Alchemy "sneak" for an upcoming post on the 20th.
With Lola quickly nearing three years old I am finding less and less time for thinking and making new designs. Before I would wait for her to nap and I would spend the hours working and reworking my pages- now I'm lucky if she'll let me have 30 minutes and by 8:30pm- her bedtime- I am exhausted.

I am not a designer by training so every page is a struggle to figure out what works- which colors to use for maximum impact, new layout ideas, what techniques to use. These decisions trip me up because when I finally find time to sit and make something I draw a complete blank- no matter how many things I pin up for "inspiration". This journaling thing may help me as I try to figure out WHAT it is I want to say and how to say it with maximum visual impact.

Eventually the question is WHY am I making this work? Why bother? I used to struggle with this before but now I see this is all professional training.

  • Blogging makes me explore tech issues and pushes me to stay current with social media- a huge part of many photo editing related jobs since so many are now going online. 
  • Scrapbook page design although not really respected in the professional magazine or news editing industry since it's "personal" and "feminine"- keeps me exploring graphic design techniques. 
  • Shooting photos keeps me using my cameras and possibly develops a customer base for a photographic business. 

I haven't figured out which direction I want to go in- opening a craft business, going back to school for web design or simply trying to hustle as a photographer (a tough career track full of amazing talent) but it's good to explore the options.

The final question- how to kick the winter creative blahs seems to be- keep working- work not to publish on the blog but to keep the flow going. So I will stop the post here and go force myself to make something- if anything it will keep me ahead of my DT deadlines.
My reward- it was worth taking time off.

MuChoS SmOoChEs!


  1. good luck...i am just overcoming a bout of "scrapper's block" myself. luckily, i just found new energy this weekend. i usually find that making myself stop trying to create anthing helps. i deprive myself of my paints and papers and then admire all the beautiful projects on pinterest and the blogs i read...eventually, the craving to create gets so bad that lots of ideas flow out of me :)

    whatever works for you, i wish you the best at it :)

  2. I love Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. Did you know her friend, Nathalie, is currently running a Creative Jump Start all month and it's free! I think you can sign up and receive a daily e-mail for the rest of the month, but meanwhile check out

    Click on Tutorials, then Creative Jump Start, then check out the individual contributors. The first two were really exciting (I think the second one was in Spanish with English subtitles!) I bet you'd find some inspiration. One of the others was pretty weak; but I'm enjoying seeing what each day brings. Gonna try the tags thing (first one, I think!)

  3. You sound just like me in my head. With the drawing and painting - have I left it to late, at 34 can I really make a career as an artist? When do I call myself an artist, I'm shattered by the time Ruby (4) goes to bed and when I really should be dragging the sketchbooks out I'm laying on the sofa watching TV or playing Sims 3 (it's creative right?)

    eta: hahaha! It tickles me - my word verification is "balings"!

    Love this post - am also going to join in Julie's journal every day though mine might be more sketch based so not sure (see?) if it counts. But will do it anyway. Am going to check out the Project Life link :)

  4. I have to get started on some DT-assignments, too, but I'm sooo busy this week!

    Thank you for commenting on my recent post. For my first PL-week, I used some of the journaling cards and background cards from the Clementine edition, but I also chose som white cardstock.

    Also, thank you for the very nice comment about my photography. I haven't shared the shots from my dSLR yet, but will definitely scrap some of them!

  5. i love your sneak! great photo :-). You're damn right it's profesh training - all transferable skills here. add to your list dealing with all kinds of people, discipline, coping with self-doubt... the list goes on. but hey, don't forget to find the enjoyment in it too x

  6. Ahhh...I so understand how you feel. I'm at a crossroads myself...stepped down from several DTs and reprioritizing my other life.

    Hope you find your groove soon.


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