• Carolyn Land

Getting Out of the Box

“Being an artist means that you can imagine yourself into all kinds of otherness-es.  Doing that, you can re arrange perspective on things, which can provide a revelation.”                                       Eric Fischl

Since creative thinking involves playing with the knowledge you have, being in a box is a good start.  That means you have knowledge, you are probably pretty good at the style you use to create your work with, and you might even have a body of work that is very consistent. But growing is important. The world keeps changing, and as uncomfortable as change can sometimes be, it also can be good.

Painting by FL artist Carolyn Land

Secrets of Time                   Alternative Surface


How do we start?  I have read a lot on this subject lately.  Not because I have sought out ways to get more creative. My creative spirit has been in overdrive. I really need an art break.  I am ready for my upcoming vacation.  It is because “articles and blogs” show up in my “inbox” and frequently have catchy titles, so I read them. I ordered a lot of frames on line, for my October show.  Now it seems everyone in the world wants to help me with my art. It’s scary to know that when you use your search engine, to search for something, so many other people know about it, and do this association thing. She needs  frames…she must do art!

Did you know that sleep boosts your creativity by 33%? I guess napping is good!  I have never been a napper, but I do appreciate a good night sleep.   Exercise also is touted as a good way to boost your creativity. 30 minutes of vigorous exercise can lead to 3 hours of creative productivity.   However, my favorite article was this one: Creativity May Favor the Smelly and Unkempt. “There’s a reason some of the most creative people are known to be smelly and unkempt. While we aren’t about to tell you to ditch hygiene altogether, sometimes switching up your morning routine can give you a creative head start you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Try getting up in the morning and jumping right into your work—you may have some creative moments you hadn’t experienced after a shower, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, and having breakfast”.  Really creative title!   All good ideas!

It has been very interesting reading! The one thing that most of the articles and blogs had in common were: writing, making lists, and word association. Things I had been planning to write about.   However, all I need do is go to an art store and my brain goes in overdrive. I want to try everything I see, and the “how could I use this” starts happening in my brain as I search for what I came in for.

If you want to get out of the box and get your creative spirit going, some tried and true methods you can try are:

Journaling: Write things down, feelings, memories, fears, fantasies. Writing puts mental pictures in your head and when you give voice to your fears, you usually find they go away.

Make lists:  How many ways can I apply paint? How many different surfaces can I work on? How many things can I do with this empty can?

Word association:  Write down the first word you think of, then list everything that you can think of associated with that word.

Make collage boards: Using magazine pictures, paste down things that interest you. If you don’t give it much conscience thought you will be surprised to find…what you are passionate about. Look for the common thread that runs through what you found interesting.

Create some conflict: Think contrary to what you usually hear and know.   Mix things up to get your mind thinking in new ways. Set some weird rules for the day.

Draw with your non-dominant hand:  It helps you engage your left brain.

Scribble: Fill in the spaces with as many textures as you can make with a pencil.

Change where you work:  Just rearranging the furniture in your work space can alter your perspective.

Keep and idea book:  When you see something that turns your thought process on, take a picture, write it down, or cut it out, and put it in an idea book.

Let your goal this summer be to get out of the box, even if it’s for a short period of time.  You may want to return to the “same old, same old”, but you will find that after you try something new, when you go back, your work will have a fresh and exciting feel to it. Or maybe you will discover a new and exciting direction.  If you have a trick that gets your creativity flowing, please share it with us.

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