More Art • by Aimee Dolich
Working as a self-supporting artist serves up a tricky challenge that I know I’m not
alone in facing: how to produce fresh, creative work on a disciplined schedule without
falling into a rut or burning out. The obvious answer is stepping away and taking a break
like I would from any other job—but being an artist isn’t like any other job. When I get
overwhelmed, bored, or like I’m going nowhere with what I’m doing, my whole system
threatens to shut down on me. In these situations, I call to the rescue ...
I redirect myself into something entirely process-based to remember how it feels to create without a specific purpose. I cut up magazines. I whip out my crochet hook (I know all of two crochet stitches and they are extraordinarily stress relieving; I just keep going back and forth and back and forth in rows). I finger-knit miles of yarn and then undo them. I look for patterns in nature and seek color and life around town. I talk to a creative friend and hear a fresh perspective in that different voice. I read a book and make lists of words I like. I dip my hands in a medium I’ve never tried and slap paint randomly on things. I love being in process mode—it’s like plumbing for the mind. It clears out the channels and opens them up to new ways of thought.
Once the ideas start flowing again, I’m refreshed and excited to get back to the artwork at hand. But I’m always listening carefully for the voice inside that notices when I’m tipping out of balance, and whispers in my ear: “Not everything needs to be for sale.”
And I heed those words with heart.
To learn more about Aimee Dolich, visit artsyville.com.