Kay Hunt Studio

The Calm After the Storm

I finished my first major showing of work this past weekend and, as you may imagine, the weeks leading up to it were anything but calm. I was painting and cleaning canvas edges, deciding on prices, making tags for each piece, and completing my website. Then, of course, there was all the time it took to load the car, unload, set up, sit for 4 long days and then do it all in reverse. Whew!

So when Monday rolled around, I was tired, to say the least. And, I confess, I experienced an emotional and physical letdown. This has happened to me before and I always thought thought there was something wrong with me. Let’s face it: that kind of letdown just doesn’t fit with all the popular emphasis on goals, to-do lists, action plans, etc. You know, all those things you’re “supposed” to constantly pay attention to.

Now, I trust and recognize this letdown for the gift it is. It’s a time to let go of compulsive action and allow some nurturing, nourishing behaviors to dominate: read a book, take a nap (or two), clean the studio, do sudoku, check out a flea market–you get the idea.

This time spent replenishing and refilling the tank is every bit as important to creativity as all those other, more overt actions that receive so much emphasis in our culture. In fact, it is essential to the creative process, so I urge you to indulge in it and enjoy every moment.

You get to decide how much replenishing time you need at any given moment. But, whatever you do, don’t panic…there’s nothing wrong when it takes a little time to get back to a high energy level. Hopefully, you’ll learn to recognize that it is just the calm after a storm.

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Getting Unstuck

SpinnerI doubt that I’m the only person out there who gets to a stage creatively where I feel really stuck, clueless and uninspired about what to do next. Recently, while preparing for an upcoming presentation to a local artists’ guild about “Stimulating Your Creativity,” I remembered this small spinner board and how it can help in the creative process. Here are some of the reasons I think it works so well as a tool for getting unstuck:

  • The actions to take are already figured out and just waiting to spur you on. Think about it: if you already knew what to do, you wouldn’t be stuck and when you’re in the middle of feeling stuck, you usually can’t think of what to do.  This little board eliminates that problem!
  • The actions can be customized to fit the way you paint or sculpt or do photography or whatever. I had an older version with different actions that worked great for creating fun, paper jewelry. Using it led to some really interesting designs…which leads me to my next point.
  • If you commit to taking whatever action comes up, you may create something that not only gets you unstuck but also gets you out of your ruts. After all, risking new solutions is where things really start to get creative.
  • Last, but definitely not least, this particular form for selecting random actions is FUN: fun to use, fun to look at and it was fun and easy to make. (This one took me about an hour: one small piece of foam core, a tiny piece of illustration board for the pointer, some design markers for coloring and a push pin. The most time-consuming part was deciding how many and what actions to use.)

There are other forms this same idea could take, too, such as writing the actions down on cards or paint sticks or you name it and then selecting one at random when you need it.

I hope this gives you some fun ideas that will come in handy for getting unstuck. Happy creating!

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