The Dangers of Too Much Inspiration

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I was digging around in my studio this week.  I pulled out some old, old, art journals and altered books and had one of those ah-ha moments.  I’ve always been a big fan of writing in books, especially cookbooks, so making the leap to drawing and gluing things in books was a natural progression.  The first altered book I made was about 10 years ago, before I knew it was a thing, and before I knew what a blog was.  The first one was a gift to my sweetheart.  Then after some major upheaval in my life I started using altered books as art therapy journals.  I got over the upheaval, had some more, life mellowed out again, and I kept up my art journal/altered book practice.  For awhile.

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Fast forward a couple years.  I started looking at magazines like Somerset Studio.  I discovered blogs and all the craftiness out there.  The more I looked at this “inspiration” the less I was able to creatively, and satisfactorily engage in this kind of art play myself.  Where I used to just sit at my desk with some paint, glue, and paper, and create in a very organic, intuitive way, now I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know how to do it “right”.

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Prior to this freezing up, I used to make little mini collages almost daily.  That stopped.  It all stopped.  Now, I’ve been sitting at my desk for days trying to do a new page in one of the altered books and I spend more time just staring at it than I do creating imagery.

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When I first sat down to play on Monday, I felt a thrill come over me that I haven’t experienced in ages.  Then after awhile I started making excuses to get up and go do this and that.  I’m trying to push through, but it is rather painful.  I feel so blank inside.  I’m floundering.

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I want to make this a daily practice again.  One without so much outside stimulation.  I think I can get there, to remember how to find what is uniquely inside of me, to put that on the page.   I keep telling myself that nobody has to see this but me.  If I don’t like the page I can do another.  And another….until it starts to flow again.

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