Monday, April 23, 2012


Have you ever hit a creative drought? I have and, in fact, am just pulling out of one. It's not much fun, is it? Whether you're a photographer, painter, sculptor, writer, glass-blower, potter, designer or something else, it happens at some time or another to all of us who call ourselves "artists". Maybe it happens because life has gotten a bit worrisome, we've overextended ourselves (us?), the weather is lousy, our energy is low. Whatever ... it's not fun.

It's a mystery to me why this latest drought hit me when it did. I'd just finished my Focusing post and my prompt gig over at Flickr, I have about three editing projects in progress ... but I felt ... flat. Since I have obligations and so many projects, it was worrisome but I just didn't know how to pull out of it. I reached into my usual bag of tricks:

  • cruise Flickr
  • surf my favorite photo websites
  • take a photo walk
Nothing worked. Until ...

One day last week, when we were at the grocery store, my granddaughter suggested that we buy some pink tulips. Pink is her favorite color, by the way. When we got home, I put them in a pitcher, set them on my kitchen table and didn't give them another thought. Later that day, as I came downstairs, my eyes spotted them as they glowed in the afternoon sun. Inspiration!  I rushed them out to the back porch where the light is magical that time of day and reeled off about 50 shots.

What do you do when your inspiration burns out? Do you have any tricks to reignite the passion? Please share it with us here at Focusing. Although we're here to inspire you, our creativity flickers every now and then. Why not show us a little love today and send some inspiration our way on the comment page and on the FOL Flickr page with your fabulous Favorite Things. It will make our hearts sing!

Creation is a drug I can't do without.

                                                                                  -- Cecil B. DeMille


Carol said...

Hi Dotti,
I get inspiration by listening. Often it's from people's stories, but when you're in the mood you discussed above, you don't always happen to have people there. I use radio and podcasts. There are personal stories on NPR all day long, as there are on some of the ews stations or on OWN network. I am nosey enough that I llove poeple's stories, and they often are inspirational. In fact, my post coming up on Monday was inspired by one.

stephmull said...

Oh, Dotti! What a timely post! The past few weeks have been one of those uninspired times for me as well.....the creativity doesn't flow very easily and everything I shoot feels so boring and blah. But I have to say, similar to your story, finding the right light was just what the doctor ordered! Thanks so much for sharing today!


Dotti said...

Excellent suggestions, Carol! I have to admit, I stick purely to "visual" for my photo inspiration but I like your idea and will have to try it!


Dotti said...

Funny you should mention "light", Stephanie! I've had the same epiphany recently and now whenever I see the right light, my heart beats a little faster and before long, I'm snapping pictures. I also think we just have to "snap" our way through it until the good stuff comes again. I also think our dry spells precede a major creative streak!


Deanna said...

Taking a trip someone new always inspires me. New places, new faces so change is a good thing.

terriporter said...

Yes, I've definitely been there! And, it seems, the longer the camera sits without being picked up, the longer the "drought" lasts. It's definitely a habit that you can get out of so easily and I'm just not happy when I'm not shooting so I usually have to just force myself to find something to shoot. Buying flowers,as you know :), is one of my favorite ways. Going on a trip ALWAYS works, but isn't always feasible. Looking for great light, whatever you're shooting, is another great way. It's amazing how beautiful something ordinary can look in great light. And I agree with what you said, Dotti -- a dry spell can signal a creative streak on it's way! Just have to keep shooting.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Well, I dont even think I will chime in on all the times I have been uninspired. However, I do know that the process of making myself move forward is enough to keep me from digging my hole deeper.

What is the quote? "When you going through hell, keep on moving, dont look back." I doubt many of us think that we are going through hell when we can't come up with something creative, but it sure isn't fun when we have commitments to meet.

BTW I really do like your pinks! A breath of fresh air.

Dotti said...

You are so right about that, Deanna! Nothing like travel to get the creativity going again. I always love seeing your travel photos and am mesmerized by your photos from your Galveston trip. It's also such a nice way to preserve the memories.

Dotti said...

Oh, indeed, Terri! Keep shooting, shooting, shooting!

Dotti said...

Thank you, Claudia! And you're so right ... sometimes commitments can take the fun out of it but we just have to Keep On Shootin'!

C'est moi Claudette said...

Dotti, you had me at PINK. You know I love pink and your granddaughter I believe inspired you that day. The sun makes us happy, and you captured the beauty of everything around you.
I don't have any tips for you unfortunately. I think it comes and goes in all our lives no matter what stage of life we are in.
Happy Monday Dotti.
Love Claudette

janel said...

I am feeling that right now..I LOVE seeing everyone's posts on flickr, and l enjoy seeing all the inspiration and then I just have not taken time to go out and shoot. Thank you so much for sharing this timely post....I totally understand the feeling. And, thanks to all that posted tips....maybe a trip is just what I need.

Barbara said...

All really good advice here, we all go through it and that gives you comfort knowing your aren't alone. No suggestions as others have given my thoughts on this. Keep trying to improve and keep happy.

Dotti said...

Bon jour, Claudie, et merci! There you have it ... the extent of my French vocabulary! Yes, pink captured me that day and I must say caught me by surprise. Not sure why since I love colors of any kind. Thank you for saying "Bon jour!"


Dotti said...

Janel, you're in good company. It happens to all of us. Sometimes just picking up that camera is the hardest thing to do and yet it is the VERY think we need to spark our creativity.


Dotti said...

You are so right, Barbara! It does give comfort to know we're not alone when we hit a spell that lacks inspiration. When those times hit, we must encourage one another. Thanks for stopping by!


Linda said...

I just love these tulips! You have really brought out their beauty! Sometimes it's hard to keep shooting through a creative drought but sometimes that's just what the Dr ordered! A change in scenery and season always helps too!


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