Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What is my cREaTiVe Purpose?

“Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you.”  -Ghandi

Lately I have been feeling out of sorts. Not myself when it comes to my creativity. I am feeling, well, not very creative.

No, no let me rephrase that.

I am feeling creative yet unable to put my thoughts into my projects.
I want to create. I look around at all my know the stuff that makes your heart race. The paper, the glue, the paint, the stickers and rub-ons. The buttons and flowers and little bits of this and that. My big bin of rubber stamps with words and butterflies and birds. 

I see it all. I go to my studio. I gather a few things then...nothing. Or I'll have something but something that is so juvenile looking I would never share it with any of you. Never. Ever.


“The creative mind plays with the object it loves Carl Gustav Jung  

I love paper and pens and words. I use sunshines and butterflies in my work and words. It always goes back to words. Whether I'm writing or creating a scrapbook page or art's all about the words.

“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others” Ayn Rand quotes

When it comes right down to it I must stop comparing myself to everyone else. There are sooo many amazingly talented Bloggers out there who create these masterpieces. Lately I find myself comparing where I am creatively to these women. This is not good.

Not only have I felt inadequate in my artsy stuff but my writing has suffered. My ideas have been stagnant. I haven't been learning and growing and inspiring.

That's not a place I want to be.

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” Arthur Koestler 

So, I am here, being honest with you and myself. Realizing that even though I don't create those one of a kind collages that are publication worthy and my paintings resemble those of a kindergartner...I am just a pupil. Trying my best to find my own Van Gogh. I know an artist lives within me. I just haven't found her yet.

“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”  — Martha Graham

How about you? What do you feel about your creative work? How do you get through the rough times? I would love to know!!


  1. I often feel that way when I sit down to create. I always have tons of ideas racing around in my head, but when I have the time to sit and create something, my mind goes blank. I feel I sometimes put too much pressure on myself to produce in these stolen moments.

    And I must say again, I love reading your blog. Your writing is your art. My best friend was feeling the same way, but photography is her art. Don't forget that you are still creating with your words. I love your art =)

  2. I am in the same boat. I am a quilter, but I can't draw. I try to make up something, and it looks awful. I am WAY out of my comfort zone with my Words of Me projects. I am making ATC's for each one. The one I posted today was STRAIGHT out of kindergarten. Last weeks was a bit better---but only a bit.
    But, through YOUR words of me, I am trying to at least create something once a week.
    So, keep up the good work. :)

  3. I've had to promise myself that I will not point out my flaws, that I will not say anything negative about my work. Just put it out there.

    We are all students at different levels and you really shouldn't compare yourself to others. We are all different and everything is an inspiration to somebody. You should post the creative ventures that you say you would never post.

    The reason I do so many crafts is that if I don't find inspiration in one medium I move on to another and another until I find my MoJo!

    Hope you feel better.

  4. I hear you Les! Its easy to get caught up in thinking about our creativity in comparison to others. I spend sooooo much time looking at blogs. Sometimes I come away inspired, but very often, I come away feeling guilty about the time I just "wasted" and I do let that voice in my head get me down about my own creativity. I think about how I want to be like the bloggers and creative people I see, instead of spending time developing me.

    We are so hard on ourselves aren't we? You are an artist already, you are not lost, you have just forgotten and have let that not so friendly voice in your head get at you. I know cause Im there a lot. I recently had a super great time coming up with all kinds of creative ideas for school, and then when I presented them to my class, afterwards I felt terrible. Like, what am I doing here? I didn't even get bad feedback, but my mind took me to that place. argh. Now Im trying to climb back to where I was before, myself.

    Its a constant battle I think, for some of us. Feeling content with ourselves. I think we have to start feeling content with the fact that its going to take a lifetime. :)

    Thinking of you. Thanks for your honesty and hang in there!

  5. Can I just say "Ditto" to everything you wrote???
    I look at blogs, that have some great ideas and wonder..."why couldn't I have thought of that?"
    I pull out all my stuff and look at it, touch it and then put it away again....ugh.

  6. BAM!! You hit the nail on the head!!
    As I was reading your post, I thought about how long my response could possibly be and thought about emailing you instead. And when I clicked on the comments, I realized that everyone has something to say about this, and it's not just "Gee Les, I feel your pain."
    I think this is a very passionate topic that we all suffer through.
    I haven't written a blog post in a couple of weeks. I started thinking I didn't have anything worthy to say when I didn't get many comments.
    Inspired by what you've done with your art journaling, I bought all these supplies that are just sitting there, waiting for me to develop the courage to pick them up to do something with them.
    My cardmaking has been pushed aside, my scrapbooking is starting to take center stage again. But here's my theory...
    When your one-year-old was learning to walk, their speech took a back seat. When their speech became the most important thing to them, their physical development slowed down for a little bit. But as time goes on, we realize all those starts and stops are necessary to allow that little bundle of joy to grow into a non-stop talking, moving, chatting, energetic little person. Just as God planned!
    So I'm guessing it's all in the big scheme of things and it allows me to work on what floats my boat at the moment!!
    So keep on keeping on and your inner VanGogh will surface! This much I know!

  7. I hear you, Leslie. I find I go through weeks when I've got nothing and don't feel like crafting much at all, then I have weeks when I'm bursting with ideas and can't find enough time to create them all.

    I'm slowly learning to roll with this. When I feel like it, I ignore the housework and create and feel blissful! Then I catch up the house stuff when the creative urge flees.

    I like what Modista said about not criticising your own work but putting it out there anyway. I'm surprised sometimes but there always seems to be someone that loves what I do, even when I'm not so sure. But it takes courage.

    Maybe the time of less creating gives you more time for reading and finding inspiration?...

  8. I do the same thing too....I spend hours reading, looking, being inspired to the point my head becomes filled to the brim with possibility and then I start to compare myself with them all and smack...I fall on my face and just can't do it anymore! It feels like I am trying to push through something that does not exist. Bizarre really!
    But, does it help you to know that I find you inspiring!! ♥

  9. Thank you so much for being so open and honest and sharing what you're going through. I've been feeling very much the same lately, and there's some comfort in knowing that it's normal experience for creative people. You're wise to realize how destructive comparing ourselves to other people can be. I find that when life gets really busy and stressful, my creative mojo is heavily impacted. I can't think clearly -- the ideas are stuck in molasses! My execution of projects suffers too. I'm all thumbs. The remedy usually can be found in taking some time to rest, relax, and recalibrate my life and commitments. I hope you get your mojo back soon and are back at creating beauty very soon. Warmly, Jenn

  10. we are our own worst critics ~ it's so hard not to compare...for me, I find sometimes I just have to take a break, focus elsewhere and suddenly inspiration hits again

  11. Creative lulls are hard. I feel like I should always be creative. I would love if the inspiration would just flow freely. But often times it doesn't. Like this week. Projects and deadlines but no inspiration. So what I do is walk way for a bit. I do not do my normal creative thing, scrapping or writing. I get out my cakes pans and bake. I take a break from the things I love to create and just stop and have a little fun. The more I pressure myself the less creative I am. No sure if that helps but that is how I handle it.

  12. It is so hard to live our lives without comparing ourselves to others. We each make our mark in life in a different way. Thank the Lord we are not all the same, how boring that would be! You'll find your niche: )
    I am more creative in the way I accomplish tasks and look at things. I have sisters and friends that are creative with crafts and sewing and if I tried to keep up I would be so discouraged. I like to think my creativity is useful for problem solving. Hmmmm, I'll have to pray about areas to use that. Thanks for making me think yet again Leslie!


  13. Dear Leslie...oh no!! those gremlins fear, insecurity and comparison!!! They are here to teach you dear look within yourSELF, to focus on your expressions, to find the light and magic inside yourSELF. WE are each so unique..."the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are'-Joseph Campbell.
    I have been in such a funk too...but it has cleared up now. I just wrote a blog post about it...but basically I went deep down within myself and asked some hard questions. There were tears and pain and heartache...the bitter pill of acceptance and then...light and air and breath! Thanks so much for all your kind support this week Leslie-it has meant so much! and remember...the only person you should compare yourself YOU!!

  14. I read what you wrote today and I can so completely relate. I think it's hard to step up when we feel like whatever we do won't be up to the standard we've set for ourselves. The thing is that standard is usually completely unrealistic. I felt like this when I started out but seriously had to stuff that feeling down.
    But here's where I get the feeling you are- and it's not a bad place you just have to see it. And actually it's a lot like the comment Peggy made above. When I worked in a flower shop I realized that there were times when the skills I had down pat would leave me. I'd have to soldier through not really understanding how I lost it, and then poof- I'd get this burst where I'd see my skill zoom to a whole new level. Better then before. This happened so often that I noticed it and really I believe that's what's happening with you. You're working out internally who you are as an artist, and you're maybe developing new skills, but it'll take a bit and you have to be patient. It will all come again and you'll be amazed at how it "suddenly" all came together. You'll have a clearer focus and be able to do so much more. I think the important thing is to soldier through. Don't give up on yourself and don't see this lull as something negative. YOu're growing. You just can't see it yet. Don't bother with trying to be good- just have fun with your words. Play for the fun of it and let yourself make some bad art for a while, and please Be Gentle with yourself. :) All my love, jen

  15. It's funny - a while back I did (and posted) a piece I made for Mixed Media Monday that I just didn't really dig. I mean, it was okaaay, but there was no real love for the thing. And you know what? YOU said that it was your favorite piece I had done to date (it was a little girl on a yellow canvas with pom-pom fringe)! SO you never know how your work is going to be taken (or who will be inspired by it), but the thing is to just DO it anyway.
    And I agree with the others, you have SO MUCH talent and your writing skills and your ability to bring people together and motivate them is amazing! Just like those amazing quotes you always pull out of the hat!
    But sometimes, it's good just to leave it for a while. Your Muse will find you when she is ready to play . . .xoxoxo

  16. I think what stifles my creative spirit most is a dirty house. Unfortunately, it is such a struggle to keep the house in order.
    Good luck! I love all your quotes! We all go through cycles and patterns of creativity. It'll come!

  17. I understand. I often say I am great at ideas and poor at execution. I'm sure this negative talk doesn't help my creativity at all. :) Right now I'm feeling the ebb and flow...

    I do love your blog, your inspiration and your honesty. Enjoy the ride.

  18. I love this quote: “The creative mind plays with the object it loves” Carl Gustav Jung. I play with Alpha Hubby.

    You said your paintings resemble those of a kindergartener - I think Picasso's resembled those of a psychotic psychopath but millions loved them enough to exalt him to genius status. Art, as beauty, truly is in the eye of the beholder. I sing. But you know what? I learned NOT to listen to myself on tape because I cringe at everything tiny thing I consider a fault - that no one else noticed. Do not self-criticize because you are your own worst critic and can't see clearly like the rest of us can - YOUR BLOG ROCKS!

  19. Well ... LOOK AT THIS, Ms Leslie!!! Look at that conversation YOU inspired by this post?! Girl, I am proud BEYOND WORDS of you. PROUD of the energy you give off (even when cranky) and PROUD of the honesty in which you write. I just love you, dearly. Now, to this AWESOME post. I think you hit it right on the nose ... and when you wrote, "I must stop comparing myself to everyone else" I yelled, "YES!!!" outloud! I do that CONSTANTLY and it's SO TOXIC. WHY do we do that to ourselves? Why is it, that what we do is never good enough for OURSELVES? Why is it that I cannot accept that I am the best "ME" that I can be . . . good, bad, or ugly. I so get all of this, Les. And I am so grateful for you.

    Today I woke up with some new sort of energy. The last couple weeks of October really burned me out ... but today I feel like I'm ready to go again. So, let's join forces and make the remainder of the year one incredible adventure after another, shall we?


I appreciate your thoughts and ideas...they inspire me!! I will be visiting you soon. Have a CREATIVE day!!

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