Originally posted to the Lapidify Ko-Fi Account on 12/15/2020.
One of the hardest things for me to tackle as an artist can sometimes, weirdly, be making art. Some days I’m struggling with a pain flare up and it makes sitting at the bench difficult, and other times I might have a bad mental health day no spoons to approach an elaborate, time consuming piece. And sometimes I’m totally fine, but not creative. It happens.
When those hurdles arise (and they’ve popped up during the stress/mess that has been 2020) I usually try to give myself a little time off to recuperate. If said hurdles want to be douche-canoes and hang around despite my *aggressive* application of self-care, I try to find some kind of task that will keep let me be productive. The goal is for the task to be short, and neither mentally or physically taxing. It often ends up being a really simple task that is tedious but easy, like prepping a whole mess of hook clasps for future use or editing a handful of photos at a time. Occasionally, I’ll hyperfixate and end up making a ton of a single type of thing, like last February when I told myself I’d make a handful of pentacles and a few weeks later I had made 60. For the past couple weeks, the fixation has been on rings.
Why rings? I’m not sure. I had a custom order out of Adley’s Magical Art last month for a ring that kicked things off, and since then I think I’ve made about 20. Big ones, little ones, fancy rings, simple rings, copper rings, silver rings… it doesn’t really matter right now so long as you can wear it on your finger. I’ve tried several different styles, had a few hardcore failures, and I’ve learned a lot. The best part is it sticks to my rules about being a short project (they usually take 2-3 hours tops) that is not mentally or physically taxing for where I’m at right now.
I think one of the most important parts about working creatively when you’re feeling crappy is using any feelings of inspiration or motivation that happen to come your way. Was I planning on trying to power through a pile of stud earrings today? Too bad, sad-pain-brain wants to make rings. Is it time to edit photos? NOPE, it’s time to make *R I N G S*. I’m going to give up an play Hades for a few hours… JUST KIDDING, BRAIN SAYS IT’S RING TIME.
While initially frustrating, I’ve come to accept that weird, hyperfixated inspiration is a gift when I’m feeling rough. Being able to physically show myself finished a pile of rings forces me to acknowledge that despite how I feel, I’ve made concrete progress. (Wearing all of those rings at once and parading around the house like a ridiculous fancy-pants noble helps me, too.)
What helps you work creatively when you’re feeling blah? Let me know in the comments!
(Some of these are still available either through the Lapidify Etsy shop or through Adley’s Magical Art. )