What do you do when you're blocked? What do you do when the creative ideas which used to come fast and furiously come slowly or not at all? What do you do when the strategies which used to work when this happened before aren't working this time?
From these questions, you can tell where I am creatively at the moment. Although I'm producing some work, I'm not excited by any of it. I've gone back to an old technique I enjoyed, and it's been interesting to use it on a new substrate...but not exciting. Spring and summer shows are looming on the horizon. I'm hoping to do two major shows in July. That alone should be spurring me on to create new work and to be excited about the prospect. Nope, not so far.
This has happened to me before. When it did, I took a step back from my own work and became inspired by the work of other creative people; in person, in print, and online. After a while of doing this in a purposeful way, ideas began to percolate, I began sketching, and new directions emerged.
So, do that again, you say. And, you're right. I have been, but it hasn't worked so far.
What's the larger issue, you ask. Ah, good question.
I think the larger issue is that what I love to create, my Ancestress Series masks and shadow boxes, are not what sells. They receive many compliments but few result in sales. A friend and fellow artist whose work I admire said "I think those masks are amazing, inspired, perfectly designed and have such a story to tell." He gets it. I feel the most fulfilled during process I go through in creating the masks. Meaning and significance is conveyed in the details I include; it's the 'story I tell'. But, knowing these creations don't sell well prohibits me from creating more. What would be the point? Being self indulgent has a price, and with the few opportunities I have for getting my work in front of the public, I feel it's important to give them what they want to buy.
So, that's my dilemma. Any ideas? Suggestions? Words of wisdom?