"A self respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood." Tchaikovsky
Sometimes I just don't feel like painting. Maybe it's because I've spent a good deal of time on a painting that turned out to be a disaster, maybe I've gotten some criticism that wasn't too constructive, or maybe I'm just afraid that I'll ruin the vision I have in my head for my next 'great' painting. I'm afraid that I won't live up to the expectations I have for myself.
Or, maybe, I'm just plain burned out.
Ever feel like that?
I firmly believe that our success as artists comes from putting in the time, from doing the work, and from practicing. It's not all about feeling inspired. It's not all rainbows, glitter and kittens. It's work. It's feeling that satisfaction you can only get when you've worked at something that was hard for you. When you've shown yourself that you can do difficult things and, holy-rusted-metal-Batman, you can do a pretty great job of it too.
Sometimes we need a break. We need to recharge and focus on other things in our life, and when we do that we see the results in our work. We feel fresh again and that freshness shows in every brushstroke of our paintings.
But most of the time we just need to keep working and not wait around hoping that inspiration is just going to drop in our laps and all our troubles will be solved. Because I don't know about you, but it doesn't work for me like that, sometimes I wish it would, but it doesn't.
When I feel stale, blah, like nothing is working out and I wonder why in the heck I thought I could call myself an artist anyway, I start a new painting. Sometimes I have to start about five before I feel that flow coming back, but it always does. And it's always because I went out and found something I wanted to paint and got started.
Pretty soon the light breaks through the trees, I can tell success is just around the corner and I feel like I can call myself an artist again.
"You don't get in the mood to create - it's discipline." Twyla Tharp
So, tell me, what works for you? :)