I have to admit, I’ve been in a creative rut for a couple of years. I have not created something for pleasure since 2014. Shocking, right? Actually, not really. I got into a routine of just doing the projects I was hired to do. Did these contract projects spark my imagination? The short answer is no. I was happy to complete projects, but found myself not enjoying the process. I’ve been working on plenty of new projects. But, none of them have fed my creative desires. I’ve been going through the motions and designing what I’m hired to design. I get it, we all have to pay our bills. So you take on any project that comes your way. Typically they are projects that someone else already designed in their head, and you are hired to simply execute it.
It gets to a point where you are no longer enjoying what you do. I started turning down work, and feeling like my craft was no longer pleasurable for me. But even worse, I didn’t turn around and start creating just to create. It was time to broaden my horizons and get back into designing for fun. It’s important to break out of the cycle. Simply working and creating just to pay the bills can become monotonous. Remember when you were so excited to start a new project? Remember when you would spend hours just playing and brainstorming ideas?
I recently discovered my passion again. How did I do it? I started listening to new music. I re-organized my office/studio space. I changed my environment by hanging up artwork that inspired me. I bought houseplants and flowers to rejuvenate the air in my work space.
Not only did I change my environment, but I changed my inspiration. I started looking for new ways to spark my imagination. I found my love for color again. I re-learned to appreciate the shapes, sounds and spaces in the world around me.
I found inspiration in other artists! I reminded myself to appreciate every form of creative passion. I’m a graphic artist by trade, but that doesn't mean I can’t appreciate a mosaic artist, or a landscape designer. I began looking at other artist’s work. Anyone who creates is an artist. I found passion in looking at images on Instagram. Then, one day I picked up a sharpie and started drawing. The next day I picked up a paintbrush and added paint. Within the week, I had bought a new set of paintbrushes and fresh paint. I created my first painting. Remember, I am not a painter. I’m a graphic designer! I never knew I could paint! What made me pick up a paintbrush? I was inspired. I thought it would be fun to put some color on paper. Here is my first painting I painted that week.
Since then, in only a couple of weeks, I have painted more than 20 paintings! I joined a 100 day project on Instagram that requires I post a new project daily.
This has kept me accountable, but has also kept me inspired to keep going! I’m loving life again! I’m loving the process. I really appreciate my environment. I look forward to waking up in the morning. I am constantly looking at nature, the sky, the trees and flowers. I’m looking at their colors, and imagining how I can put that color on paper and turn it into a piece of art.
It’s been a fun couple of weeks. It was a process to get to this point. The process definitely didn’t happen overnight. It started with one small change that led to another. Soon I was full of inspiration and excitement again.
These are a few of my first sharpie drawings that I am in the process of re-producing into t-shirts for sale.
All of these t-shirt designs will be available for purchase on May 14th.