I am having trouble these past few days writing. I don't know if I am overwhelmed or overworked or a little bit of both. I am not mentioning this to complain – rather to explain.
It is funny how a designers' mind works.
One minute we are flooded with so many ideas that we don't know what to do first and the next minute we sometimes don't know where to start. We get so muddled up that we find ourselves rather 'stuck'. How can that be?
I don't think that I am the only one who goes through this type of thing. One thing that is good about having so many designers as friends is that we support each other and as part of a group, we don't feel so odd when things like this happen. Just a couple of days ago, I witnessed one of the most prolific painters that I know proclaim that she was 'uninspired'. I easily recall myself thinking "Wow! I never thought I would see that happen!"
I suppose it was because whenever I saw her, she was busy producing an insane number of beautifully painted pieces. I have such a great deal of admiration for her.
But seeing that she too got bogged down at times made me realize something. Unlike the image I had in my mind of her being up on a pedestal as a 'creating machine', it dawned on me that she was REAL. Just like me and so many of my other wonderful creative friends. And like us – she had her good days and her slow days (and even her 'uninspired' days!) And I found myself liking her even MORE than I had before.
We sometimes forget that those we admire are somewhat 'normal' people. Most of them are just like you and I. I think that sometimes we look at others through the proverbial rose colored glasses – seeing the victories and not really thinking about the struggles. There are times we try to hold ourselves to the same standards that we imagine others to hold and naturally we are unable to do so, as we exaggerate things in our minds in ways that no human could ever live up to.
I know I have done it, and I have seen others do it as well. Then before long we are beating ourselves over the head because we don't compare. What a self destructive path that can be.
But if we take the time to look at things more realistically, we see that those who we idolize are probably a bit more similar to us than we thought. And to me (especially times like this) it is comforting.
So what have I been up to?
Lots, it seems. I finished cutting and sending out all the wood orders I have had. I also lined up the new orders for my Christmas Pull Toys stand ups and ornaments to be cut on the weekend.
I am also going to work on getting my Etsy shop up to snuff, as I have sorely neglected it. It is a good place for me to be exposed to new audiences that wouldn't otherwise see my designs. And I need to work on an ad that I am submitting to a new digital painting magazine It is called Painting Ezine and is being published by Sharon Chin, the owner of The Decorative Painting Store and Susan Kelly, owner of Puddles of Paint. You can read about it at PantingEzine.com. I am really excited about the magazine! It is wonderful to see so many companies recognizing how important offering digital products to their customers can be. For just over $1 an issue, you get 12 digital issues per year filled with patterns and articles from many well-known and new artists. I think that "digital" is really the way to go with shipping and printing costs so high. I will certainly talk more about this issues
Well – I already feel a little better about things. So often when we get 'stuck' it isn't because we have nothing to do, but we just don't know what to do first. The saying "see the trees through the forest" comes to mind. There are times that even when we are very busy we need to stop and take a breath and perhaps step away for a little. When we return our focus, we can once again see things a little more clearly, and we have a better sense of which direction to go first.
Thank you for reading my ramblings today. I hope that next time you are stuck, you remember that it happens to everyone. It is only an indication that you are pretty normal as far as a creative person goes.
Have a wonderful day! Happy Halloween!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"