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My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1435: "Unstuck"

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-02-2014 01:12 PM 1338 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1434: I'm Feeling a Bit "Human" These Days Part 1435 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1436: Ready to Cut »

Well, it appears that I am on the 'other side'. Whatever was causing my creative block has moved on, and things are once again moving in a positive direction. I wish I knew what caused those little hiccups in my creative process. As I said the other day – I think all designers and creative people go through it at one time or another. When we are in the midst of that 'creative block' we simply can't understand why nothing seems to feel right. Is it mood? The weather? The position of the moon?  I think if I were able to figure out the cause and the reason as to why it happens, I would be one of the first. 



But no matter now – I just want to move ahead. Whatever was blocking me seems to have passed and I am once again excited and thrilled at what I am working on. Furthermore, I don't want to linger on the reasons I have felt so 'flat' the past several days, and embrace the new feelings of creativity and excitement of seeing my new projects come to life. I only wish to recall these feelings the next time it happens to me – and it will happen again – and not trouble myself about it. I do believe that the more I worry about not being creative, the less creativity I have. If I have learned anything, it is that worrying only perpetuates that 'stuck' feeling. The sooner I let go of the worried, the sooner those creative feeling return. 



I have had quite an exciting couple of days. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, I went from a muddled fog to feeling productive and focused. I am not quite sure how this came about. I had given up trying to analyze things and decided it was high time to pick up my embroidery piece and spend some time with it. It had been about three weeks since I worked on it and not only did I feel guilty about that, but that added in part to my anxiety as well. I am so close to being done with it, and things were really going along well. What I hadn't imagined that I would finish until March or April was probably about three quarters done. I certainly feel as if I am in the home stretch with it. If I were running a marathon, I would compare it to approaching the 20th mile. 



There was part of me that didn't want to allow myself to work on it because I was so unproductive in my thinking throughout the day. I kind of look at working on it as a reward every evening – after a full day of work, I allow myself to sit back and relax and do something that has no other motive attached to it other then the satisfaction I feel of the process. Sometimes, as a professional designer, that mindset gets lost. We are always under deadlines and always doing things for 'work' or profit or to better the business. My needlework is different because its first purpose for me is to enrich my soul and give me the pleasure of creating something for "me". While I so share it with you all as I complete each panel, the ultimate reason that I am creating it is completely selfish – my own satisfaction. Whether you are dazzled by it or think to yourselves "meh" is inconsequential. This isn't because I don't regard your collective opinions as important, but more so because I need to have something that I create that fully and completely is for myself. And while I truly appreciate your thoughts and comments on it, I think I need to have something that I am doing first and foremost for me. With that under my belt, I feel that it allows me to put just about everything else that I create out here on the block for your judgment and/or criticisms. It is as if I have something in reserve that I truly feel is my own. Consequently, if something that I do isn't quite the best or doesn't draw positive reviews, knowing that I have something in the wings that I am happy with myself somehow softens the blow. I look at it as my little bit of reserve peace of mind, that I CAN do something nice. Even on the days when nothing seems to be working. 



Enough of that talk though  - let's get on to the new designs . . . 



Somewhere along the way, I had an 'idea' for a new set of scroll sawn ornaments. I love ornaments and I think they will be just the thing to get things jump started in a nice direction again. I spent the entire day yesterday drawing, and I now have a dozen that are in their first stages. As I printed out the drawings at the end of the evening, I noticed some adjustments that had to be made, which I am going to do today. Hopefully, I can at least begin cutting them today when I cut some other orders.  



Here is a little sample of what I am working on:





Oh – these are going to be FUN! 



Wait until you see how I plan to make them.  I also have something special for the painters as well. I am working on several things at once again. (YES! I am back to normal!)



I really think that these new ornaments will be cool. I can't wait to finish drawing them so I can begin cutting them out. I was laying in bed last night THINKING about them and how I would change and improve what I already have.  It feels great to be excited again! 



As I look back on the past several days, I can't really pinpoint what had me 'stuck'. 



Very little has changed from last week to this. But somehow, I feel completely different about things. 



I suppose that is why it is so hard to figure out. When I am in that kind of 'mood', there is no rhyme or reason as to the cause. I need to learn to be patient and perhaps just back off and allow myself to 'be' for a while. I need to remember that trying to force creativity only seems to stifle it further. (Remind me of that the next time I am in a rut!) 



Today is the day we turned our clocks back. We have an additional hour to get things done. I am very happy that I am in a place where I am able to use that hour to the fullest, and enjoy that extra hour to accomplish. What a gift that hour will be! I think of all the painting and scroll sawing designs that I will have coming up and I know I will enjoy that hour even more.



Remember no matter what..
<address> "How good it is or</address>
<address> How Bad it is.</address>
<address> It won’t last…</address>
<address> ‘ Life is forever changing’…..</address>
<address> This too shall pass away"</address>


I wish you all a wonderful Sunday. 

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



10 comments so far

View patron's profile

patron

13535 posts in 2803 days


#1 posted 11-02-2014 01:19 PM

all the best laid plans ….

sometimes our body/spirit just needs a rest
regardless of what we might feel/think

best to go with the flow
and recharge naturally

even the horse we ride around on
needs a break once in a while

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9038 posts in 2382 days


#2 posted 11-02-2014 01:24 PM

Hi, David:
Yes – the time off did well. Although I don’t think it was time ‘off’ but mentally, it was. Not having to think about things so hard is a bit of a rest.

It is hard when I have struggled so long to be successful. Sometimes we forget that we achieved a great deal of success already and we have to re-train our minds to back off with our thinking.

It is similar to those who lived through the depression or bad times and even though things get better, they are still ‘hording’ every day items, because they remember back to when they didn’t have them. Sometimes it is a hard cycle to break.

I hope you have a great day. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View kepy's profile

kepy

292 posts in 1736 days


#3 posted 11-02-2014 03:00 PM

Even our tools can go into overload and need a rest. I believe it is necessary for us to occasionally take some time for mental adjustment as long as we don’t overdo.
I can’t believe you are coming up with some more ornaments as I’m still working on the last batch. Maybe I took too much time for mental adjustment. Of course, being a full time care-giver for my 95 yr old mother takes a bunch of my time.

-- Kepy

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1037 days


#4 posted 11-02-2014 04:06 PM

sometimes I have to step away an take a break for a few hrs or days,if you feel guilty them tell your self your doing research,go to the zoo or craft show,be around others or just to yourself.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9038 posts in 2382 days


#5 posted 11-02-2014 05:42 PM

Thank you both for your thoughts on this. I have lots of new ideas, Kepy. While I am not sure how many I will get done this year, I can always get ahead for “next year”.

Enjoy your extra hour. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Druid's profile

Druid

1303 posts in 2258 days


#6 posted 11-02-2014 06:20 PM

Glad that you will be getting that “extra” hour to enjoy. Believe it or not, where I live (Creston, BC) is one of the few places where time does not change. We stay on the same time year round, but it means that we end up in different time zones between summer and winter. No “extra” hour here.
Wonderful to see that you are enjoying being back on your creative track. The hint of your new pattern looks enticing.
Keep smilin’.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Bigrock's profile

Bigrock

290 posts in 2425 days


#7 posted 11-02-2014 10:21 PM

Hi Sheila:
All of us hit walls at times. For me it is just get away from designing a project for a day or two. I just do something different and all of a sudden all the answers fall in place. Some of my best designs come late in the day and never first thing in the morning. What I design is not crafts I am not that kind of a person and is why I buy your designs.
I take it as part of life and continue on.

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

1216 posts in 1535 days


#8 posted 11-02-2014 11:13 PM

The blocks that you hit certainly never last long as you keep coming up with wonderful designs. I can’t keep up! I want to do all the Christmas ornaments that both you and Keith come up with but never get them all done. Ah well, since I plan on living a very long life maybe over the years I’ll get them all done! :)

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9038 posts in 2382 days


#9 posted 11-03-2014 12:05 PM

Thank you all! Yes – I am fortunate that when I feel like that, it seems to pass within a couple of days. Those days are long however, and I sometimes wonder what the difference really is that changes things so drastically in my mind. The important thing is that it does pass and before long things are feeling good again. I truly appreciate your kind comments. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1037 days


#10 posted 11-04-2014 07:04 PM



Thank you all! Yes – I am fortunate that when I feel like that, it seems to pass within a couple of days. Those days are long however, and I sometimes wonder what the difference really is that changes things so drastically in my mind. The important thing is that it does pass and before long things are feeling good again. I truly appreciate your kind comments. :)

Sheila

- Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)


I think it is like walking into a crowd disorganized area,you feel overwhelm.same goes on in your brain,you have the task at hand,the deadlines,commitments,life, and sometimes it gets cloudy in there,

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