Does that phrase sound familiar? I heard that a lot as a kid when I was playing around with art but during the years that I worked on my painting technique I didn't hear it quite so often. It's easy to get stuck creating the mundane because you're good at it, and creating is not at all the same as creativity.
Since I started sculpting I've been able to let my imagination take over, especially with concept. I'm working with a theme for my work and I don't want to ever end up back in the box again, so every time I get done with a piece I take a break to play with left over clay.
I'm not especially interested in making beads but I play around with it...mostly to see what I can do that is different. I create 'fabric' from scraps and I try to think of interesting vessels to make with unusual fittings. When I'm sitting and relaxing I try to think of new ways to play. I ask myself what haven't I seen out there, and what would be cool to see?
I'll throw anything out there when I'm imagining...I've even thought of stacking layers of gradated shades of colored clay and 'painting' a picture with them in a frame (that would take months and months and pounds and pounds of clay). It doesn't matter how ridiculous the idea is, the only way to come up with something unique is not to rule anything out.
Each time I play I find out what I like and don't like about a process and I always learn some new detail about my medium. If I choose to try a technique that others are using then I try to twist it a bit so that I'm doing it differently. The neatest thing about all this is how stimulating it is. Usually when I get done with a piece I'm pretty wiped out and looking forward to a break. Now I'm always two or three projects away in my head and can't wait to sit down and try another idea. Each experiment refines my thought process...I'm headed towards something and slowly working my way there.
So if you've been feeling a little stuck in the box, just take the time to let your imagination wander. Don't limit yourself, don't worry if experiments don't work as well as you'd like, just keep trucking with ideas until you realize you're starting to have fun and then, I promise, the trickle of idea will turn into a fountain of creativity.
(Today is my 50th daily post! )