When the Creative Wellspring Runs Dry

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Ok ok, maybe I’m being a little over dramatic. It’s not dry, I’ve had a lot of new ideas and dreams of future projects, it’s just the last few weeks I’ve been tired of work. I just finished an emotionally exhausting series (which I can’t wait to share with you all) But this recent collection really took it out of me.

Most of my pieces are a reflection or a story of something going on in my life or in the lives of those around me. This particular series has been working out over the past two years and culminated into an emotionally exhausting expression of my thoughts and feelings surrounding repetitive circumstances over the past two years.

Once done with this series I decided to indulge some of the other ideas that had been swirling around my head as series ideas, some of them were purely cathartic releases that I tossed in the trash, others I may keep and refine. But I think that’s the point when you are emotionally drained from painting and need to move on with your life and your work.

Try. New. Things. Don’t be afraid to have a completely creative day in the studio, just making and expressing all the other thoughts that had been pushed to the back burner while you were digging out the deep, dark, other thoughts that needed to be dealt with and painted out.

I painted a lot of crazy things in the last week, paintings that will never see the light of day, but at least they are gone and out, and I don’t have to wonder about them anymore, some of them I like, and may refine but they no longer add to my burdens or clutter my thoughts.

Another extremely comforting thing when I feel my emotional tank is on empty, is to fall back onto commissions. Letting auto-pilot take over and create something that someone else prescribed is really peaceful. Yesterday, I allowed myself all the creative time and space to work on pieces that I knew I would throw away, and also rest on the commissions of others knowing I wouldn’t have to tax my own emotions to create something, since someone else came up with the vision for the painting. I finished an audio book in 2 days and just let myself be in my studio painting. (I was listening to The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen I really enjoyed it an can highly recommend….. also on a side note, would anyone want to be in be in a book club with me? Thinking of starting one, send me an email if you want in.)

I don’t know if my creativity has ever run out in terms of ideas. I always have ideas for paintings bursting at the seams, but I do get tired and I do get emotionally worn out if I put a lot of myself into a work or a series. That’s what I’ve been coming through these past few weeks and that’s how I deal with it. How do you deal with creative creative exhaustion? I want to know! Tell me below or send me an email!

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  1. Loved the suggestion of auto-pilot work to recharge! Sometimes its good to do work that does not require creative thinking in order to reach creative thinking. 😉

    1. Author

      Thanks fiend! I’m so glad you found a helpful tip in this post! <3

  2. I love this! It always helps me to get outside when I’m feeling creatively stuck. And yesss to a book club!

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