Saturday, August 13, 2011

Overcoming Artistic Resistance

Summer is filled with distractions. It's really almost impossible to not get off track somewhere and lose momentum in the studio. This week, I've been battling the hated artistic Resistance. What is Resistance, you ask? Let me quote from "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield:

There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the wrting part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write.
What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance. 
Yes, he's talking about writing, but just substitute your creative activity of choice and the secret is the same.
Resistance is the enemy within.
Today I've ventured into the studio to complete a couple of projects, with deadlines looming, after a huge bout of Resistance telling me that other activities were more important this past few weeks: unpacking kitchen boxes, nursing the teen after wisdom teeth removal, trying to help my father find a pain management physician that will meet his needs, researching curriculum for a new school year.

This morning, I've cleaned my metal clay work area and begun unpacking the suitcases full of supplies still sitting in my studio floor after  two summer trips with gear in tow.

More importantly, I calculated the size for a setting for one of my enamels from my recent workshop with Charity Hall and then sat down and built a polymer clay form to support the sides. I rolled and textured silver clay for the first time in many weeks, then cut out the back disc and wrapped clay around the sides of the form for the bezel.

I've begun to fight the Resistance.


  1. Hi Vickie - it's a battle not only worth fighting but it can also be a breakthrough to better things (at least that's been true for me at times). - Shelby

  2. Thanks, Shelby, for the encouragement. After all these years, I understand that creative energy comes and goes. Sometimes we just have to take time for the rest of life, and then the transition to the studio again is always challenging. The more we achieve, the more Resistance fights, too.

  3. Anonymous9:11 PM

    I know exactly what you're talking about. I've spent time as an elementary art teacher, a news photographer, wildlife photographer, jewelry designer, hand dying & original lino stamped shirts, painting, basket weaving, you name it. ;-) I get too distracted by things that need to be done. And I'm not even having to report to a job these days! Now I've taken up metal stamped jewelry & bronzclay - with sights on PMC. There aren't enough hours in the day. No wonder I couldn't do it when I was working! It's not fair that other things (life) get in the way!! ;-) You have some lovely work. It's good that you can always get back to it.


  4. I'm kind of in the same place. I've had some health stuff going on and haven't felt like working in the studio. Now I'm feeling better and have some shows coming up, but just can't seem to find my mojo.

  5. Yeah! Congrats on the battle! I love that book. One of the other things he says that I like is "Stay Stupid," just go forward, no research, no looking at what others are doing. (I think that's in his other book, Do the Work.)

  6. Anonymous9:23 AM

    I think you need an elegant baby wipes cozy...Julie

  7. Ha! Julie, leave it to you to see that oversight. It doesn't quite fit my space uncovered, does it?