CRAFT EMERGENCY RELIEF For the Rest of Us Part 3: “I’m Outta Ideas!”

Tolderance for a trial-and-error approach made allllll the difference in my new, smaller, shrine series!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last story from an article originally published in The Crafts Report (now known as Handmade Business) in July 2010. Backstory now included!

(Phone rings)

(Operator): “Craft 911, what is the nature of your craft emergency?”

(Caller #3): “I’m out of ideas!”

(Operater): “Can you give me more details?”

(Caller #3): “I’m in my studio and I’m wandering around. I just don’t have any good ideas for what to make. Is this fatal??”

(Operator): “Happens to everyone, ma’am. Tell me, do you have any upcoming shows? A big order for a gallery?”

(Caller #3): “Um…not really. Things are kinda slow this week.”

(Operator): “Uusally this kind of situation responds very well to deadlines. Are you sure there isn’t some kind of deadline coming up on your calendar? Something you’ve overlooked? Go look, I’ll wait.”

(Caller #3): “Let me check… Wait a minute, yes! There’s a special order here I forgot about! Okay, now what?”

(Operator): “Ma’am, I sugget you simply settle in to fill that special order. I’m sure you’ll be flooded with lots of new ideas once you get those craft hands of yours moving again.”

(Caller #3): “Wow! That’s great advice–thanks!”

(Operator): “It’s our job, ma’am. And next time this happens, try taking two days off from checking your email, then call me in the morning.”

I think this is a great idea whose time has come, don’t you?

And now for the backstory….

This was me! Er…this IS me, all the time.

It usually hits during a difficult time in my life, when I’m distracted. When sales are slow, when I’m feeling invisible in the world. “What’s the use?” “Who cares about my work? Obviously, NO ONE!!!” And other thoughts of no purpose and no use.

I’ve found not one, but TWO terrific solutions. The first, obviously, is a deadline. The minute I realize I HAVE to get something, anything ready for a show, a photo shoot, an article, etc., that’s when I’m swamped for ideas for…something else!

I either hold that thought/idea/vision until the deadline is met, or I start on it instead. (Some deadlines are flexible, self-imposed, or not as important as I thought.) This is the power of procrastination! When we don’t want to do a certain thing, we suddenly find the inspiration to do another thing instead. (Yep, I’ve written a slew of articles on this!)

OR I realize I’m trying to figure out that “thing” in my head before I start it. I think if I do all the thinking stuff ahead of time, I won’t hit any roadblocks.

Wait for it…..

Hahahahahahahahaha wheeeeee!!!!!!  (Oddly, I found this article today about getting things done,  while searching for….something else!)

At the beginning of the pandemic shutdowns, I finally realized that a project that had been in my heart for years, could only be accomplished by using…..yup, trial-and-error!…to figure stuff out. With all that time on my hands, I realized I had plenty of time to do that.

And it worked! I created enough new work to call it a new series.

Of course, as the pandemic measures eased, I’m back in my my “old normal”, and the dozens of small shrines I made are now works-in-progress. And without the deadlines of articles to be written for pay, it’s a lit-tul harder to make room for writing/publishing.

But then I remember how this helped me. And wondered if it might help someone else.

And hence, this article, with the addition of backstories.

I hope this gave you a giggle, and the realization that anything that’s holding YOU back, could be overcome with a little finagling, a deadline, and knowing it worked for me.

Now go to your creative space and make some stuff!

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

6 thoughts on “CRAFT EMERGENCY RELIEF For the Rest of Us Part 3: “I’m Outta Ideas!””

  1. Unfortunately for me, sales are (still) always slow. But I am still able to create. Rather, for me the problem is I wonder who I’m creating for if the people who like my work are not people who buy it. I still have to create and I’m never at a loss for ideas but sometimes I feel so despairing about my existence as an artist activist with little to no sales (ok someone bought something from my Zazzle shop back on October 10th; but since then, nada).

    And, while I enjoy writing, it’s still something I do without remuneration.

    I am glad you are working, though!

    Patricia

    Patricia C. Vener — Dancer, Artist, Rogue Astronomer 203.787.8953 Follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dance_art_patricia/ Fine Art and Handmade Art to Wear and Display http://vener-art.com/ Buy me a ko-fi https://ko-fi.com/patriciacvener

    Thank you for thinking about adding an original Vener to your art collection.

    Like

    1. Okay, third try….
      Gah! Just wrote a reply for you and it disappeared!! Short story: This is me, too. Look, right now, a LOT of us are struggling with sales, and simple recognition. Sometimes it’s hard to really believe we matter. But then I hear from someone who hears what I say, sees what I make, and it makes a difference for them. And they let me know. Your work is lovely. It matters. YOU matter!

      Liked by 1 person

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