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Spread # 107- A Case Of ‘Artist’s Blah’ August 21, 2010

Posted by Orly in Uncategorized.

Creative block, literary constipation, artist’s blah…it is that maddening dreadful feeling that it’s over, the well of inspiration has run dry, there is no way out. We all experience it, randomly. Or so I thought until I discovered there is actually a method to this madness. Got to give in to the creative process, to really understand that inactivity is of crucial importance to the success of creativity, that there is no butterfly without spending some time in a cocoon, no flow without ebb, no growth without decline, and no wow without blah…my truth is that any block is a building block. Once you adopt that new belief, you’ll find yourself completely block free, guaranteed! You say it’s not that simple. Yes it is.


1. Kathryn - August 21, 2010

How true!
I think Edison said something like “It’s 10 % inspiration and 90% perspiration.” Once you get out to your work area, you’ll get SOMETHING done. It might not seem like much, or might seem like the worst thing you’ve ever done but once you’ve gotten it out of the way, you can move on.

2. Kathryn - August 21, 2010

P.S. I like the spread!

3. Lynn - August 21, 2010

Never seen “the block” dealt with quite so brilliantly! Job well done. Kudos.

4. Marilyn B. Jordan - August 21, 2010

I agree!! You speak the truth. Although when I’m in it (the blahs, the doldrums), sometimes the truth is not so apparent.

I like your spread. Is that a transfer you’ve done with the photo of the boy with block? Would you mind sharing what transfer process you used? Thanks!

5. Dreaming Bear - August 21, 2010

Very cool pages!! I do tend to get frustrated when things don’t come to me the way I think they should. I get a little panicky with inactivity….good advice to remember to settle down and know that it will work itself out!!!

6. the GyPsY - August 21, 2010

Wonderful! Love the spread and love the words. I seem to ebb and flow from one creative channel to another, when I can’t write, the crocheting explodes; and when I can’t draw, the writing explodes .. and on and on .. I’m learning to let it be what it is, and learning not to try to control it for, creativity, like me, loves to rebel against control.

7. Orly - August 21, 2010

Marilyn, Thanks for your comment. You asked about the photo transfer. I don’t mind sharing at all. My process is such that I scan in my physical journal pages and then work on the spread with Photoshop to further my visual idea. The photo transfer of me (as a young girl) is actually not a transfer at all. It is a scanned photo, manipulated with a filter and other application tools I use in Photoshop.

8. Ophelia - August 22, 2010

Your work is so awesome. Your blog is so inspiring!!!

9. apaperbear - August 22, 2010

Orly it was sooo wonderful to see part of this spread in real life before you published it here. This post is so awesome! You always have such a balanced appoach to life and art.

10. Gil Avineri - August 22, 2010


11. Seth - August 22, 2010

“Any block is a building block” — just brilliant!!

12. Cris Winters - August 22, 2010

Do I know what you are saying! I came up dry at a week-long art workshop this summer. It was very frustrating until I realized that all the shifts in my life right now are taking a lot of psychic space and energy. And I realized then that I was integrating, rather than executing, fabricating, or being otherwise visibly creative. And it became comfortable (for awhile). Still lots of change but I’m feeling better about my work and my process.

13. Stephanie - August 22, 2010

Great way to look at those blocks, in a creative instructive way. The resting, the winter before the spring.

I just read above about the image, I guessed it was your daughter.


14. Anairam - August 22, 2010

No wow without blah … and … any block is a building block … I love that. I am writing those words up in my study to remind me. I am in one of those holes now – partly because I have been working on a rather uncreative project – but now that that is done, I feel no inspiration at all! And I so looked forward to having time again to make art pages! But the one good thing that has come out of this period of blah is that I have started meditating again …

15. robruhn - August 22, 2010

Oh so true, if only we can keep remembering to remind ourselves. I love your page, there doesn’t seem to be any block with this one.

16. pamcarriker - August 23, 2010

Love this spread Orly and agree with your words. Even our Muse needs to rest. I use those times to set myself up and be ready when my Muse awakens, ie: clean my studio, prep backgrounds, switch art gears like carve stamps or something different. Often that’s all it takes and I start feeling inspired again.

17. Margie Brochert - August 23, 2010

Orly, what a great way to look at an artist’s down time! I will keep that post handy for future reference and share it will those in my art class which starts in September. Although I have not started art journaling on my blog, I love it! I hope to join the ranks in the near future and look to you and the other fab talents for inspiration! Hugs, Margie

18. shannon - August 24, 2010

love this. yes…it’s in the stillness, the silence, the space, where we truly restore (if we allow ourselves to) and learn the most. just as in meditation, it’s the space between the thoughts where we can learn to simply “be.” just as in the creative process – great practice in going with the flow, letting go and trusting. thanks for the visual reminder!

19. Donna Watson - August 25, 2010

I love all your comparisons for artistic blocks- no flow without ebb — all of them are so true– this is a very inspiring blog post- and much needed right now.

20. rivergardenstudio - August 28, 2010

I love your discussion here especially the words: there is no butterfly without spending time in a cacoon. I felt like the beginning of the summer I was in a cacoon, but now I am emerging, and I love that feeling. It just takes time… Have a fantastic weekend. roxanne

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