Thursday, March 5, 2009

Creative Slump

I cannot seem to shake this creative slump I'm in. I've no interest in taking photos or writing. Part of the reason is that my car is sick and we're not going to repair it because it's old with high mileage and the repairs would be in the thousands. So, I'm trapped at home unless the hubby or daughter are home and I can use one of their cars. Long story. I love my house on the water so at first this wasn't much of a hardship. However, over time I've started feeling trapped. I'm used to taking spur-of-the-moment adventurous road trips in my trusty All Wheel Drive Subaru Forester (love that car) and discovering places I've never seen. I can't do that now. Yes, I can take photos of the water and sunrises and all that stuff but I've "been there, done that" and am feeling the call of the wild. I can't even go see the pelicans or drive to the dam and watch the cormorants. I'm home bound. It's messing with my mind and my spirit.

I was whining recently to my artistic road trip buddies, Carroll and Bobbie, and one of them threw me a challenge. She basically kicked my butt and told me to start photographing things I'm not used to photographing. Mundane things that normally hold no interest for me. Be creative with the mundane. Yeah, yeah...I know, I know. Preaching to the choir. She threw down the gauntlet. "Send me creative photos of SHOES."

Well, I didn't do it. One morning she sent me this missive; "I've rushed to my computer every day, anxiously awaiting shoe photos. I imagined a shoe in a tree, a shoe peeping from beneath a big rock, empty, ragged shoes walking down the middle of the road, and on and on. Where are they?? Come on, Debi, show some sole! If shoes don't spur your creativity, find some lizards :)" I laughed out loud!

It was raining, but I immediately donned my rain jacket and L. L. Bean dog-walking shoes and went outside. This oily puddle beckoned. In 5 minutes I was back inside downloading the first spur-of-the-moment photos and sent it to Bobbie. My first thought was "good, now she'll stop bugging me," but I really want her to bug me. She wrote back "That is so great! Debi, do you see how the scalloped-like trim on the shoe matches the patter of the water? And the face is incredible! I know you see the face at the toe of the shoe. Turn the photo upside down and the shoe becomes the "hair" of the face. The face in the water reminded me of someone, and THEN I remembered -- looks strikingly like Wilson in Castaway!!! There is a lot of stuff in that photo and it's all good." Bobbie is a painter and has a wonderful sense of color and playfulness. She saw something that I didn't see.

Creative people need coaches and cheerleaders. Artists, photographers, writers, designers, gardeners, cooks, weavers, quilters, sculptors, architects and managers - all of us create on some level. We each get into creative slumps and need people to shake us up. One cannot create in a vacuum, one needs input and fresh air, new surroundings, and occasionally a kick in the pants. Thanks, Bobbie, for a must needed boost.


Robin's Nesting Place said...

I was wondering what had become of you lately. I figured you were just very, very busy. I'm sorry to hear about your car troubles.

I'm glad you have a good friend who is prodding you out of your creative slump. I think we all get that way sometimes.

It will soon be spring and you can find a multitude of things to photograph outdoors. I wish I could travel to wonderful places to get great pictures, but I can't. I just try to create beauty where I am.

inadvertent farmer said...

I have the opposite problem. I seem to be always going, going, going. It is either something with the kids or some critter is out of food. Someone always needs something.

I would love to trade places with you just for a few days of peace to be just me, nature, and my camera.

But alas it is me, the kids, the laundry, the camel, and the house that is never clean!!!

I LOVE your shoe shot. It is nice to have friends that makes us better than we would be by ourselves! Kim

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I've shared some delightful e-mails with blogging friends about this topic today. We all have mental and creative blocks, whether it's a busy mommy schedule or a fenced in back yard or ... a camel! Thank you for your comments and for your visits. It means a great deal to me in that I know I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

I composed a comment, but Blogger ate it. :-/ I'll try again later.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Blogger seems to have turned into a goblin, Nancy. It's been very unstable of late. Try again? XO!

themanicgardener said...

Great post--all of it, so true. Isolation is tough--how did pioneer women stand it? It's hard when you feel cooped up, trapped, stuck--so easy for the physical to become mental. Anyway, I'm glad the friend prodded you, and that you responded.

BTW--when I has to buy a car for the family and knew we were coming west, I bought a Subaru Forester. Great car. Bozeman is full of Subarus.


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