I Hate My StudioToday

Usually, I work on weekends, at least part of the time. This weekend, I planned some studio time. All week, I eagerly waited for my uninterrupted studio time. Just as I headed to the studio, a call came–could I help? Sure.  But still, after I came back, I headed for the studio.

Finally, I sat down and. . . nothing. I had no ideas. I didn’t know what to start. My tried-and-true method of leaving something unfinished and ready to work on didn’t work. No idea what to do next.

Grid over layers.

Why not some layers? An hour later, I had a muddy mess. Not a fan of layers-on-layers. I can’t see a clear reason for doing them. Doesn’t matter. Overtired, over-committed, not interested. How can that be? It can. It happens to every creative soul. What to do? I knew that if I left the studio, I’d find it harder to come back next time.

The last fun project was using Copic markers on coated stock. I decided to play with that, no objective, no pressure to produce. So that’s what I did. It was the equivalent of a Grateful Dead concert–an hour of aimless noodling.

Aimless Noodling

What was the purpose? Well, aimless noodling. It’s an end in itself. Coated stock is fun to work with. Some notes I took included a half-baked idea for another class, which wrote down to develop later. Today was not a development day. Another idea for experimentation is to compare photography paper and coated stock, to see if they react the same way.

I’m still not loving layers, but I am more sure that I want to do some more collage, which is always what I come back to. Good to know. To cover the layers, I stamped some circles, cut out some squares from my aimless noodling and combined them. Is it fabulous? Of course not. Not every day is fabulous. But I think I have an idea for a new class, I’m sure I want to continue in collage, and I have coated stock to experiment with.

Even a bad day in the studio is better than no studio time.

-Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach who has her own bad days. She never admits that to her clients.

12 thoughts on “I Hate My StudioToday

  1. Thanks for the info! I thought “glossy” and I was also thinking “clay”, so I was on my way! I, too, admire the way you show the dark side when it’s most prominent! Reflective honesty is hard to find.

    • When I did art festivals, a lot of people would come up to me and say, “You must have such an easy life, just doing what you like to do!” I would always say, “Yes, I love what I do.” I never gave into the temptation to say, “what a great life you have, with paid medical benefits and paid vacations!” Every artist has a dark day, and even that is grist for the mill.

  2. It’s refreshing to know that others have off creative days. I want to be more like you (I’d. say if I ever grow up lol) !and stay in my creative space when the mojo is blocked. Me, I run for the garden or literally run to break the clog.

  3. Is the coated paper the same as Ranger’s glossy cardstock? I think it is, but not 100% sure. I have some and always ‘never’ use it so as not to ‘waste’ it. What am I saving it for? Not sure …??? LOL

    • i don’t know, Melanie. It’s not Ranger stock, I live pretty close to a wholesale paper shop, and I get card stock there. This particular stack was from friend Lynn. She’s the best at sharing! There are hundreds, probably thousands of different kinds of paper. This is heavy stock, and I love it.

  4. I think your aimless doodling is lovely–like a star burst flower. I love to do doodling–it does seem to clear the mind and let a few important messages get through.

    And seems like you just admitted to a lot of your clients that you have bad days. That’s a good thing for them to know–it’s hard when you are working with someone that seems perfect in every way.

  5. Linda, coated stock is like shiney paper, sometimes called chrome coat.

    Quinn, I love your aimless noodling! I do that all the time! Sometimes not totally aimless, but definitely fun!

    • Coated stock is a card stock that has a layer of clay applied with high heat rollers. This gives it a hard finish that will crack on the fold if you fold it. After the clay and calendering (the hot roller machine), the stock is finished with a coat of varnish–the paper is stiff, highly shiny, and generally not interesting to people who make art with watercolor, colored pencil or most inks–as they don’t stick. It’s not laminated (which requires sheets of plastic to be sandwiched over the paper), but it looks that shiny.

  6. Hey wait a minute, your “aimless noodling” piece looks like every line starts (or finishes) at the same point. Kind of the opposite of aimless! 😉

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