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QotW:As an artist, when feeling 'stuck,' what helps to inspire or motivate you? Do you look at Instagram photos, read self help or art books, take a walk in nature, etc?


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Recent entry in the QotW pool comes from @Bam2015. .. my suggestion for a QOTW is: 

As an artist, when feeling 'stuck,' what helps to inspire or motivate you? Do you look at Instagram photos, read self help or art books, take a walk in nature, etc?

I think we have had this question asked in a similar form in the early Summer of last year, but good thing to return to. As all of you know, I have a lot of books, and magazines on ceramics, and other art techniques. I often return to these looking for inspiration and ideas on new forms, textures, and techniques to keep the creative juices going. Often thoughts do not come from the ceramics books, but the watercolor, photography or landscape books especially in the winter. 

QotW:As an artist, when feeling 'stuck,' what helps to inspire or motivate you? Do you look at Instagram photos, read self help or art books, take a walk in nature, etc?

best,

Pres

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I like to read the Ceramic Monthly from the 50's and 60's and check out the techniques that was used before I  started seriously working with clay in the late 60's.   Once in a while I will try to make a piece that I have seen.   I know I will never come close to copying it,  by the time I keep cutting and changing it there isn't any resemblance.     Denice

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Sorry Pres, I must have forgotten or missed that a similar question was asked previously. I probably responded to it and forgot, or perhaps I even asked the question?  :) If I did ask the previous question, maybe it's because I keep getting stuck. Not stuck in life, but stuck in my crafts, but I assume this is common amongst crafters/artists/creatives. I'm always trying to figure out my style, or how I would like to represent myself in my art, but I keep changing my mind. 

Because I posted the question, I should respond, right? I use all of the things that I listed in the question. Sometimes I spend too much time looking and need to just create. I also get a lot of mileage out of self-help books that don't necessarily focus on art, but on organizing one's life and developing habits. 

Betty

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bam, my studio is full of things i made years ago and liked then.   when something else caught my attention  i moved on to that style for awhile.   i think everyone goes through that scenario before finding a solution that becomes their own "signature style".   there are several very large bowls which i made for mashed potatoes on thanksgiving.   flowerpots for particular plants,  candlesticks, lidded jars, teapots, baskets, vases big and small, etc. 

the experiments with clays and glazes happened along with the style.  i love white clay, the red and speckeled  clays were too messy and  took the focus off  the design.

i think i have found my sweet spot in slabs that have plant materials as the focus.   oops, i almost forgot the dragonfly that makes the pot sell well.   next step is finding a way to make slab bowls,  maybe a mug, some other circular pieces with plants and dragonflies.   getting the bottoms attached so they do not leak is the difficult part and seams that are hardly visible  present a challenge.

so much clay, so little time i hardly ever need motivation but a warm studio would keep me out there all winter.

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Haven't been potting very long, coming up on five years.
Seems like I've more getting stuck in terms of skill development* than evolution of form and finish, trying for new forms, textures, details, patterns, et cetera**

Stuck is, however, stuck.
Earlier, I watched a lot of video clips, and looked at many books and magazines.

Now I persist for a while, then break off for the day, or even a few days afore returning to the challenges.
I read this forum! ...variety is, "they" say, and yet, the themes are remarkably consistent.
Every once in a long while I'll watch a few video clips, pick up a book or magazine, even wade into a "classic" magazine.

*There are those times when skills seem to be going backward.
There are also those times when skills appear to be stagnating - running in place.

**Whilst there's nothin' new under the sun, there's plenty that's all new to me.
New (to me) forms - even scaling up a familiar form - entails a development or refinement of skill.
For me, it comes back to skill, even how one looks/sees evolves; is skill involved in that as well?

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90% of the time un-sticking tactics for me involve filling a need that I’ve been neglecting. Is it my mind, body or spirit that needs attention? Do I need to rein in my caffeine consumption so I can get some sleep, do I need to get out of my head and go visit friends, or do I need some time to sit and noodle over a problem? Do I need a new playlist or audiobook? Am I hungry? Mostly getting unstuck is some form of “go away and do something else for a while so your unconscious can work on it.”I don’t love everything Julia Cameron does in her Artist’s Way books. I don’t think that treating a creative block as a pathology or an inner child is necessarily the best, but the parts of her approach that involve treating yourself gently and giving yourself mental/emotional space and time are good general life advice.

Creativity is play. You have to feel safe and warm and fed, and a little curious and a bit bored in order to begin to play. If one or any of those elements are missing, you have to do whatever it is that will get you into that state. 

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Think Hulk hit my  method/ fix.

I find when I know I wont get to clay I look at magx and ocasionally instagram.

But when I get to shed I mosey about putting stuff back or checking if clay is ready to recycle I get back into losing the "other" life and get sorted. Too much external vIsuals knock me off the path. 

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I get stuck erratically - generally doesn't seem to be connected to anything in particular, internal or external. A lot of what Callie said resonates (as usual!). I make an effort, when effort seems to be needed, to give myself permission to just BE.  I try to accept a basic "go w/the flow" approach to  most stuck points. Eventually I'll either tap into something I can identify as a provoking issue that I can then address, or more likely I'll just cycle around and get back to work. In the interim, I tend to shift gears and do photography, or writing, or cooking or some other creative outlet. What I definately son't do is tey to dig into more ceramics-history, other people's work, techniques, drawing out ideas etc. I avoid it until I am compeled to get back to it. And am ever grateful that I do not need to, and am not motivated to, generate income from it! 

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