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Not another Ninja Turtle….

No knack. I don’t get it. I work in a wonderful world of creativity surrounded by artists and generally brilliant people, and I have the ultimate creative block. I can’t put a brush to canvas to save my life. Now mind you, I have canvases at home. I even had an easel till I sold it to my more creative neighbor Trevor in my garage sale a few weeks ago. And don’t get me started on my blogging ability. I just don’t think I’m a good blogger. I believe Despi and the cool kids asked me to blog thinking I could spread some of my everyday humor into this thing, but I’m just not funny in a blog. My wit and quirkiness is lost on paper. Go ahead, quit reading now – you’re just wasting your time. I’ve had suggestions of just being around scribes who can record my funniness in type, or maybe I’d be the first blogger to turn in a blog on video or podcast. After all – the Nugget Factory gave me a Flip Camera for On Procession, and those videos turned out pretty stinkin’ hilarious, If-I-do-say-so-myself.

I quit “trying so hard.” I wrote like I was writing to my best friend. I added facts. It’s just not right.

I’ve made things in Star Studio. I go to Art Openings. I work at every exhibition opening event and spend time in the galleries. So why can’t I pick up a brush, pen, piece of chalk, prick my finger and write in blood, whatever – and spill my brilliance into a sketchbook or an electronic diary? Throughout my life I’ve owned countless notebooks and sketch pads that I’ve bought only to sit in a corner and get dusty. Packs of markers of every width and color that I draw the same ol’ Ninja Turtle(usually Donatello – but only because I have a fondness for purple).

Some of my work is on the wall at Zest – the great restaurant on 54th St., where they have placemats you can draw on and a glass of crayons. But it’s no Picasso. I think I even asked the my dining guests at the table “What should I draw?” It was winter. I made a snowman. It’s hanging next to – you guessed it – a little kids drawing of a Ninja Turtle.

Lately I’ve gotten it into my head that I want to illustrate children’s books. As long as someone were to write the story, I could draw the pictures that go along with it. And I have recently discovered that a knack I do have is for scrap-booking. But I want to be a blogger – a GOOD blogger. So I guess I’m asking this – what inspires you? I could join the Army to Be All I Can Be, but how do you get over a creative block? My inner Martha Stewart is trapped. Please, set her free…

Filed under: Art, Musings

3 Responses to “Not another Ninja Turtle….”

  • avatar
    Noelle Says:

    Hmm…I don’t know if I actually want to be an accomplice to setting your “inner Martha Stewart” free!

    I do find that taking off the pressure to be creative, or giving yourself plenty of time against creative deadlines helps me. I also like to keep a list of ideas for blogging on Google docs. so I can capture them as they come.

    Another thought- If you just aren’t creative, why not support someone who is?

  • avatar
    Becky Says:

    Have you read any of Julia Cameron’s work–she’s that “The Artists’ Way” lady? Her book “Vein of Gold” is all about how to get the creative mojo back when it’s taken a vacation.

    One of the things she suggests that has worked for me is a one-week ban on tv, movies, the internet (except when necessary at work), music, and reading.

    The reading one suprised me, as I wouldn’t think of it at all in the same “time-suck” category that those others can be. Her rationale, though, is that for creative types, all of the above activities are about taking in somebody’s else’s creative output. Not that those are inherently bad activities, but she argues that if you’re feeling blocked, you may be using them to distract yourself, filling up the empty space instead of giving yourself the time and energy to make something of your own. She says something like, “after two days without these stimuli, you may find yourself so bored that in desperation you paint a chair or pick up that embroidery you’d forgotten about.” I’ve done this a couple times when I was really stuck, and sure enough, it worked!

    Illustrating kids’ stories sounds fun! You wouldn’t have to wait for someone to write you a story, either. Could you find a story you like and draw your own pictures? Or adapt/abridge a story for slightly older kids (like, say, Harry Potter)? Not to publish, of course, but just to feel like you were getting the juices flowing again?

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  • avatar
    Amber Says:

    Don’t worry Noelle – if my inner Martha gets too out of hand we’ll send her back to the clink.

    Becky – many thanks for your advice as well! I haven’t read Cameron’s book and can only imagine what a week without “the outside media world” could do to me. It may be worth a try…

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