Have you noticed how often folks in this little world of ours worry that they’ve lost it? Lost the will to scrap, their creative mojo, the knack to make? I do get it: sometimes it can feel like something’s gone missing.
When I decided to try working on a 12×12 page after a good year or so’s break from working in that format, I was terrified. I mean, losing-sleep bothered!
I was worried that I’d lost it; that the result would be terrible as if I’d somehow forgotten how to work like that.
The funny thing was, the result wasn’t actually all that marvellous, but I’m convinced that was because I’d worked myself up into such a tense state about it all. It’s hard to be creative when you’re all scrunched up, mentally and physically.
I learnt that lesson from Wilna: the importance of working lightly. You just have to watch her at work to see that she’s relaxed and enjoying herself.
Her brush strokes are light and carefree; she experiments with building up layers and throws out the design rule book by going with her gut, placing elements intuitively and playfully.
But sometimes we inevitably get ourselves in a bit of a creative knot, don’t we?
Maybe life has got a little manic; maybe we have team projects coming out of our ears or maybe we’ve got sucked into that whole ‘making for the likes’-trap that’s so easy to fall into (and so tiring to maintain).
Whatever the reason, we can sometimes find ourselves feeling like we’re running on empty.
But that’s okay: there’s no need to panic.
Because you know what? Your tank may be temporarily empty; that’s just a sign that it’s time to stop and re-fuel.
Re-fueling looks like different things to different people, but it’s essentially taking time out to rest and re-charge.
When we step away from the paper-trimmer for a few days and give ourselves some headspace, we find our creative tanks filling back up in no time.
It’s obvious really, isn’t it? We can’t keep putting our stuff out there without replacing it or we’re left with nothing left to give. And when we work from a place of empty, we start dipping dangerously into energy reserves that should probably be saved for something else.
So what happens in the meantime? If we’re not making, what are we doing?
Well, it’s like lots of other things that are really, really good: it’s fun to spend time anticipating them. We can enjoy the build up; we don’t need to ban all scrap-related thoughts during this time.
We can spend some time getting our spaces feeling really lovely; perhaps have a sort out of our stash and get all our favourite things out ready. Or we can take time to just think about what project we might be excited to get stuck into when the time comes.
We don’t need to go shopping for fresh, inspiring products or spend hours on Pinterest, hoping to coax our creativity back out of hiding.
Because it’s not gone anywhere, you know? It just needs a little breather.
Whatever you do, don’t let those daft voices in your head speak too loudly (and I know you have them too – they’re the same ones that say because you didn’t make the latest all-star design team that you must therefore be rubbish at this thing: utter tosh, my dear).
Don’t let the voices convince you that you’ve lost it; that you might never be able to make anything ever again, just because you’re feeling a little weary and uninspired right now.
It’s okay, it really is.
We all go through this, it’s part of being alive and part of growing: sometimes we’re all about the bright, shiny daffodils and sometimes it’s time for the underground bulb-work.
Just let this little season-ette of not producing be okay with you.
Sit with it; try to enjoy it; wait until you feel that urge to make again return (and it will return. ‘With knobs on’, as we say here).
And when you start to feel the creative itch again, you’ll have renewed energy and enthusiasm to really throw yourself into your creative process with joyful experiments and gleefully fresh ideas.
And isn’t that what this thing is all about for us scrap-crazies?