Working Through Creative Blocks

The day before yesterday I came up with this wild looking circle as one of the circles I’m doing, loosely following Sue Spargo’s Toned-Down Circle Sampler 90-day project that she is doing on Instagram. Often I’ve been using a stitch or two that she’s using for that day as a prompt and then seeing what I come up with. This one quickly announced itself as a diva.

The Diva that became my thirtieth circle inspired by the Drizzle Stitch.

Yesterday I posted a video about the creative process and a number of people messaged me privately, and a few publicly, about their process and how it was similar or differed. What struck me when reading other people’s experiences while creating or even just attempting to create is that unless you are one of those people who has felt the brutal horror of indecision, making the wrong choices, battling perfectionism and the inner mean voice, it’s very, very difficult to understand. Those who have experienced it know how awful it can be to constantly question what one is doing. Is it any good? Should I have done it differently? Maybe I’m just not creative, and do it anyway. As a result, I’m going to be doing a weekly youtube video – exploring the creative process; what stalls us, and how to work around those challenges.

The circle I created after the Diva was the backup band in comparison. It was all I could do not to tear it out. However I had no time to redo the whole thing, and part of my efforts to combat my own inner critic is to force myself to leave things that I want to completely redo, alone. This requires sitting with the discomfort and desire to “get it right”, “make it better” and any number of other things I tell myself I’m doing. The discomfort can be, and often is, quite painful. But once done a few times, the next time becomes a bit easier.

The Diva is above the backup singer who is directly below.

All of this is not to suggest that we settle for mediocracy. This has nothing to do with that. This is very specifically about how to move forward when creating.

What are you creating? Is it easy? Difficult? I’d love to hear.

8 thoughts on “Working Through Creative Blocks

  1. Well when you are left handed ,you already have a road block! You are challenged to create exactly like the designer. The reason I take classes is to follow that designers work to a “T”. Other wise why bother. However when the instruction is free it really doesn’t matter how it turns out as you have nothing invested but your time and right now we have more time than money. ( as they say). 😊sooo to make a long story short , I want to learn everything I can from the designer when I am in class and then challenge myself when I’m on my own to do better than the designer. My pet peeve is to take a class and then find out you will not make what you thought you were going to make 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for telling me about your experience with classes. When you say that your pet peeve is not to make what you thought you were going to make, is that because the teacher changes what the class description states or for some other reason?


  2. I love seeing your variations of the circles and your other projects. I am doing Sue Spargo’s Chirp & Toned Down Sampler to learn the basics (what Grandma didn’t teach me many years ago!). My ultimate goal is to add to existing projects, for example – I started a batik sunflower table runner last year using boro stitches. (Boro was my passion last year!). Currently, I am adding on to the runner using embroidery and applique techniques. My goal is not to complete a project, but to be able to enjoy it during the process – both working on it and using it. Very happy to hear about your upcoming you tube video series.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My goal is not to complete the 90 patterns but to learn new skills and improve my work while creating a piece or two with a lower number of motifs. Took a while to get started but I’ve completed 5 circles that I’m happy with, having revisited 3 of them until I was satisfied. I’m thoroughly enjoying this new endeavor, especially your videos, Ariane.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for making your videos. I just discovered your blog The topic of being stalled is a good one. There can be various reasons for being stalled. It is so frustrating. One thing is just getting started. Or color. Who knows sometimes. I am new to weaving and happy with myself to have actually put a warp on the loom this week. I would love to add some embroidery to it. Or maybe get out some wool fleece and wet felt a scarf to embroider. Thank you. Ellen

    Liked by 1 person

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