The Peaks and Valleys of a Creative Journey



“Inspiration exists, but it must find you working.” –Pablo Picasso

When you set out on a life journey based on creativity, be it a writer, artist, actor, photographer, one has to be prepared to experience the peaks and valleys of the creative path.   Unlike a salaried position or even a business with predictable seasonal fluctuations, the creative person will find success bundled with failure, rejection and simply lack of interest with no predictability.  The release of a new book, a new piece, a new show, a new movie will bring about a sudden influx of popularity and attention only to be replaced by a (hopefully!) temporary lull in activity.  Its easy to be excited by ones choice of a creative path during the peaks but it can also be emotionally draining during the low points.  An extra kick in the butt is needed to push forward in these times.

Here are some ideas to help you through the slow times, time when you might be feeling creatively drained, perhaps unappreciated or simply wondering what the heck I am I doing?

  • Make a list of things you want to accomplish with your work.  Is this a good time to contact that gallery you’ve been meaning to approach?  Time to organize your work into that book?
  • Put down your brushes and camera for a while.  Take longs walks without your tools and simply soak in the inspiration and store it away for your next burst of creative.
  • Get organized.  Slower periods are great time to clean out and get more organized.  Clear away the lingering chores that will hinder your creative process in the future.
  • Connect with other artists.  See what they are up to, get inspired by their work and projects.
  • Keep focused on the big picture.  Where is it you see yourself in five years?  Plan out the little steps you need to accomplish to reach your goals.  Keep in mind that there are very few overnight successes.
  • Take time to balance your life.  Have you been so busy with your artwork that you have neglected other aspects of your life?  Spend more time with your significant other, your family, your friends.  Get some exercise and eat better.   Pick up a new skill like cooking and find some inspiration excising a different part of your brain.
  • Get out and see other work.  Go to museums, galleries, art fairs.  See what is going on in your art community.  Learn more about the buyers of art

Its all too easy to become sad and disappointed when one is in a valley but if you turn it around into an opportunity then you’ll be all the more ready for your next climb to a peak.



Thoughts? Comments?

Edward M. Fielding is a fine art photographer. His work can been seen

dog art


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