I ferociously ignored my enameling studio for three whole months (and felt pretty guilty about it) until earlier this week, when I suddenly felt the need to fire things up. That very evening, I found this quote, shared by my Facebook friend, artist Charlotte Safewright.
“One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly. They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.” — Marshall Vandruff
In those months when I felt no pull to my enameling studio, I still felt the itch to make things, so I experimented – played – with other media. I went back to the piano, I quilted (poorly), I did some needle- and wet-felting, embroidery, and other things that required problem-solving and technical skills that were vastly different from those required in enameling – and my only goal was to have fun.
I’m not the dormant type; my break was less like fallow land and more like crop rotation. Seems that allowing Miss Muse to play with unfamiliar toys was just what she needed . . . and reading the Vandruff quote was just what I needed.
Miss Muse had not gone off in a huff, leaving my kiln alone and cold. There’s been no chiding me for my indolence; just the affirmation that it is the natural order of things to ebb and flow. I feel happy to be in my studio, not guilty for my absence.
Next time you’re about to scold yourself for being “unproductive,” remind yourself (and any unenlightened family members) that you’re not loafing; you’re recharging.