14. Studio Avoidance
Show Notes
In this episode I talk about studio avoidance. You know what I’m talking about. Sometimes we just don’t want to work on our art, and we do everything imaginable to avoid it! When you have the choice between something like dishes and art and you think yes dishes! This is your sign. I will talk about how to identify this and how to identify the block so you will say yes to art instead!

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Episode Transcription: 
[00:00:00] Welcome I'm Kristi Backman. This is my podcast, Cultivating Creativity. It's about helping you build your creative life. Giving creatives a way to make space for artistic growth through the insights for the mind of an artist, instructor and art coach about the creative process and living that crazy creative life.

[00:00:27] In this episode, I talk about studio avoidance. You know what I'm talking about. Sometimes we just don't want to work on our art, and we do everything imaginable to avoid it. When you have the choice between something like dishes and arts and you think woo-hoo let's do dishes! This is your sign. I will talk about how to I identify this and how to figure out the block. So, you will say yes to art instead. 

[00:00:59] It's amazing how much artists avoid the studio. Don't worry. It's common. It doesn't mean you're not really an artist. Yes, artists go there all the time. It just means that something's bugging you. So, you need to figure out what that is. And the only way to do that is to experience the feeling. AKA being in the studio. You need to tune in to how you are feeling as you work. Note what feels okay and what feels uncomfortable. Sometimes it's a particular project. Sometimes it's something in the environment sometimes it’s a mindset holding you back or playing on an insecurity. 

[00:01:37] I wanted to share this topic now because I find after big events like holidays, vacations, times that you're away from your normal life. We get out of our routine. And it can be challenging to get back into a routine. It feels like we're almost starting from scratch and then it just feels overwhelming. So, the important thing is to identify the problem, so you can get back into the studio. I have four steps that I'm going to ask you to go through when you hit this wall. And if you follow these four steps, you will find a solution, so you can get back to creating. 

[00:02:15] Step one. First, go to your studio. Whatever form your studio takes. If this is a corner of the kitchen table or a whole different room in the house, or a rental studio, somewhere off site. Go to your studio. If you instantly feel bad, then consider rearranging and or reorganizing the space, clean, refresh, and reorganize. Put up some inspirational quotes or images. Most studios are pretty chaotic spaces. And it may feel weird to decorate it, but adding things that inspire you or make you happy can make a big difference. 

[00:02:51] And if you're saying my studio is in a box and I work at the kitchen table. Decorate the box. It sounds silly, but this makes a huge difference. I have quotes from artists that inspire me. I have a vision board. I have some fun and quirky knickknacks that make me smile. I also have a wax smelt to create soothing scents. So, do something in your space that makes you feel better about being in the space. This step is never a bad idea, even if it's not the issue, your space is now more welcoming. And will encourage you to return. 

[00:03:24] Step two. If the studio is not the problem, start outside the studio. If I've been blocked and trying to go to the studio and it brings those frustrated feelings to the surface, then I grab a sketchbook and something colorful. And I sit in my most comfortable chair. I play with shapes and colors until I have something I just have to make. Then I go back to the studio. I'm so focused on my new project, those negative feelings don't even come up. If you're blocked or stuck on a piece, the best advice I can give you is to play. 

[00:03:57] Explore, have fun, reengage with what makes you light up about your art! Take off the pressure you're placing on yourself and visually play. So, if you're in the middle of a piece that you feel stuck with, put it to the side. If you're worried about a deadline you have coming up. Get it out of your mind. Get some fun materials out in front of you and play. You're an artist! Do this until you start to feel the excitement and then nurture that feeling. Build some success in what you're working on and take that back to the studio. This will realign the positive feelings with your studio space. 

[00:04:37] Step three. If the issue was more mindset based where you're focused on replaying insecurities and doubts, I call this brain trash and you guessed it, it's time to take out the trash. First you need to look at all these insecurities fears, call them out and write them down. Yes, I'm going to sit you in this uncomfortable space and make you sit with these ideas, look them in the face. And I promise you. Once you do, they're not going to seem that intimidating, but you have to face them, if you're going to overcome them. 

[00:05:10] Once you have them lined up and in black and white. They tend to feel pretty insignificant. Go over each one and ask yourself, is this even your thought? Is it relevant? Is it true? Is it something you can work on or simply dismiss? If this process uncovers a bigger issue, something that feels heavier or more significant, then I recommend working through it with the therapist. 

[00:05:33] You already know that avoiding it is not working. In fact, it's preventing you from doing something you love. So, it's time to do what's necessary to reclaim your creative space. 

[00:05:45] Step four. If you've already gone through steps one and three, and you still have that icky feeling, then the issue has something to do with your life, outside of your art. Something is bugging you and making you feel guilty or bad about taking time and energy to create. So, it's time to repeat step three, with the other aspects of your life. Consider family, friends, pets, money, work, and health, just to start. What are some things going on in your life? Look at what you're focused on. 

[00:06:17] Again, it often comes down to naming the issue. As this is where healing really begins. Now, I'm not going to say that identifying the issue will make it all better and you can get back in the studio. But if you're avoiding the studio anyway, identifying the life issue, that's blocking you will allow you to turn your focus positively on finding a solution and, or working through the situation. And then you'll have the utmost confidence that once that issue is addressed, you can, go back in the studio and create the way that you want to create. 

[00:06:54] The reality is if you're avoiding the studio, it comes down to issues with the space, the work, or you. You're an artist and this is part of the experience. It's no more than that. So first you need to identify and next address the issue so you can get back to doing what you love. It's amazing how much artists can avoid the studio. Don't worry. It's common. The important thing is to identify the problem so you can get back into the studio. I hope you found this helpful. Just remember this is totally normal and happens to the most creative of us. Just follow these four steps and magic will happen. If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to my podcast and leave a review and follow me on Instagram, until next time! 


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