These are great questions! I think we all feel like this now and then, and I think it’s really important to remember times like these because they remind us that inspiration and creativity are precious. It’s so easy to take things for granted in this day and age that we often forget how special it is to really feel excited and inspired about something. It’s not until that feeling is gone that we marvel at what we had.
I absolutely have times when I look at my work and see WORK - I don’t feel the creativity behind what I’m doing, I’m just putting paint onto a surface. Because art is what I do for a living, I can’t afford to wait out those periods when I just don’t feel like painting. I literally have to make art every day. This is both an exercise in diligence and a way to keep myself happy. I never go more than a week without creating something, even if it’s just a doodle in my sketchbook.
These are things that I do to get inspired:
1. Every day, I look at a lot of art, read books, listen to music, go out into the world and experience new things. This builds excitement and gives me ideas.
2. In every piece that I do I try something new. That way, I am never going through the same old motions, I always have to think about what I’m doing and it keeps me engaged. I am rarely bored when I’m working.
3. I surround myself with creative, ambitious, driven people. This is really important because the people who are around you influence you to no end. It’s vital to have positive people in your life that push you to be a better person, who are also an example to you.
4. The most important thing I do is make time for art. What recently got me out of a funk is planning weekly art-making days with my friends where we get together and work on projects. Yesterday was one of those, and it turned into a 10 hour painting marathon that was sooo much fun it didn’t feel like work at all. My social life revolves around making art which makes it easy to keep creating all of the time.
As for types of wood that I use, I don’t have a preference except that it be sustainably harvested wood, which I buy in the form of cradled panels from the local art store.
Thank you for your questions!