Our guest speaker for January's meeting, Julia Linsteadt, shared her own journey to becoming a working artist and showed off several of her wonderful cut-out paper silhouettes. She also gave us some tips for sparking creativity and getting yourself out of that creative rut:
- Word dump - write down whatever words are in your head, even gibberish
- Tinker table - have a small container of art supplies at the ready so you can doodle or draw on the spot
- Take a break - a few minutes just for you does wonders to get unstuck
- Look at art - see what you can learn and wonder about from other's work
- Challenge yourself - a deadline can create "positive pressure"
- Go outside - the wide, open spaces will help clear your mind
- Meet up - get together with people and socialize
A few other great take-aways from Julia's talk -
As a child, her parents set up an environment that naturally nurtured her creativity (although she didn't realize it at the time) - she spent a lot of time outdoors and using her imagination.
A college professor once told her that "art is chaos in a fixed structure," and those words still echo in her head today. It's important to remember that the creative process can be very chaotic and uncontrollable - which is actually a good thing! From such chaos comes amazing experiences and creative visualization. But whenever the chaos feels overwhelming or unproductive, we artists can always return to the structure of our work - themes, materials, techniques, etc.
It's also important to be aware of the limits we might put on ourselves as perfectionists. "Perfectionism is just fear dressed up in high heels," Julia said.
She also shared an old fable that compared the negative words we often express to feathers in the wind - once they are released, they can't easily be retrieved. The lesson is to stay positive - with yourself and with others - positivity promotes creativity!