creativity

Notes from my journals

I've always loved journaling but until beginning of this year haven't been very consistent at it. However in early January I decided to start writing every single day hoping to get over a writer's creative block that has been with me basically since high school. To help myself get through the block I'd get up an hour earlier than usual every morning and write my "morning pages", Julia Cameron Artist's Way style. Every morning I would write down three longhand pages of random ideas and thoughts, stream of consciousness style. I fell in love with the process not only because I already enjoyed journaling but also because it helped me de-cluttter overly active mind and start the day fresh and less stressed. The process also brought me a lot of insights and helped me get more connected with my creative process as an artist. At just a few week into my journaling adventure, in early February I made my first awkward attempts at "actual writing".

My writing was messy, fragmented, lacking in structure and it made me think that intuitive painting I've been practicing for years had somehow rewired my brain and that I was writing in the very same way I paint: freely, spontaneously, letting things to happen, stream of consciousness style and always in the flow. But I enjoyed writing anyways and kept on doing it every day regardless of objectively sucking at it, I simply fell in love with the process itself not expecting any meaningful or interesting results. I just kept on writing not even reading what I have put down to paper afterwards.

However, this weekend I thought it would be nice to finally read journals written over the last four months. As I begun to go through one of the notebooks from early January I noticed I still had two pieces of big paper up on the wall that I forgot to take down. I put them up to protect the wall from getting stained with ink while painting.

wall being nice and protected while working on the painting...

wall being nice and protected while working on the painting...

So, completely spontaneously I started to write down random notes from my journal, taken out of context, it just felt like a fun thing to down. I also set up my camera and begun to take pictures of the process (later I made a short stop-motion clip of it), it was amusing to layer random sentences, phrases and words on top of each other creating an abstract texture (hey, I really do write the way I paint!). It was also interesting to take notice of which thoughts I was choosing to put down on paper, I kept repeating a lot of same ideas and notions. The whole thing turned out to be an insightful experiment and exercise in creativity for sure. I ended the experiment by writing down: But if I let my heart win it will lead me to you.

Variations of those words kept popping up in my journals over and over again (I even illustrated something similar few weeks ago) so it felt fitting to write them in capital letters over the rest of the text.

All in all it was a fun exercise and even though I will probably never be a writer I'd love to continue experimenting with words and somehow incorporating them into my paintings.

notes from my journal: a list of paintings to be made :)

notes from my journal: a list of paintings to be made :)

Cosmic love

Last week I spent every minute of my free time working on a new big painting. What differs this painting form others is a fact that an idea and title for it (Cosmic love) came to me in a dream. Since I'm a kind of a person that follows her dreams I knew I had to paint it. You can see a process of making this painting in the video above!

This is also last painting in a mini series of bigger paintings I've been working on lately (first two paintings are Mr Fantasizer and Desire) so I was very happy to have finished it. It was definitely a breakthrough piece for me (as well as previous two big paintings) and I will probably write about it more soon. For now here is just a photo of work itself (it's 70x100cm in size and done with ink and gelly rolls on paper, as usual).

Cosmic love , ink and gelly rolls on 70x100cm paper.

Cosmic love, ink and gelly rolls on 70x100cm paper.

Three big paintings finished: from left to right: Desire, Mr Fantasizer, Cosmic love

Three big paintings finished: from left to right: Desire, Mr Fantasizer, Cosmic love

work in progress photos (and a very pink sunset :))

work in progress photos (and a very pink sunset :))

more random work in progress pics!

more random work in progress pics!

Nothing to prove, nothing to gain (how to push through creative blocks fast)

Today I'd like to share a little tip with you, something that helps me in pushing through creative blocks fast and in efficient way. I've noticed that I encounter creative blocks or lack of motivation to make art when I put myself under a lot of pressure and when I put an emphasis on what I want to prove with my art or when I expect to gain something from my art.

For example, when I start to paint while thinking I have something to prove with my work I automatically stop the natural flow of creativity and ideas and instantly deprive myself of any pleasure in painting. And it doesn't matter whether I have something to prove to myself or to others just this need to make a point, to prove something holds me back. Often I need to prove to myself that I am good enough, skilled enough artist who makes interesting images and that puts a lot of pressure on me, prevents me to experiment and to be playful. So, to release this limiting state of mind when I'm about to start painting I stop for a moment to remind myself I have nothing to prove. Sometimes I even go ahead and say out loud: I got nothing to prove. With that I let go of expectations and allow free flow of creative energy.

Other thing I've noticed that puts a lot of pressure on me and produces blocks is focusing too much on what I could gain from my art. Maybe it's just approval, recognition, maybe it's some opportunity or money, it doesn't matter. If I go into the creative process with an idea of what I could gain from it I limit my freedom of expression. For example, if I want to get approval I'm mostly likely to create works I believe others might like even though it might not be the most satisfying thing for me. So, if I'm in that particular mindset I have to remind myself that I have nothing to gain. By doing that I set myself free and allow myself to create more authentic, heartfelt and genuine art and ultimately that's what others react to best.

So, in the end I've learned that reminding myself that I have nothing to prove and nothing to gain helps me push though creative blocks, liberates me, unleashes my natural creativity and playfulness and helps me to create more honest art which is very important to me. I hope that this little insight of mine can also help you in some way :)