I'm Not In The Mood

by lesley // posted on Feb 20, 2017

At least once a week, the little girl who long ago took up residence in my head (without paying rent) tries talking me out of going to the studio.  She's persistent.  She taunts me:

  • you worked so hard yesterday, you deserve a day off
  • get that laundry pile whittled down before it buries the cat
  • the weather is gorgeous, your bike is just outside...waiting
  • see the look in the dog's eyes...he deserves an extra walk today
  • it's been too long since you arranged a coffee date with a friend
  • you promised your mom you'd visit more often
  • the flowers in the garden are calling your name...they're being strangled by weeds

On good days I manage to ignore her because those are days I feel invincible. Nothing could keep me from climbing those stairs to the studio.  When I'm working on something that has me pumped, I can silence her voice. 

Bad days require sucking it up, going to my room (studio) and just "begin".  By "begin" I don't mean picking up the brush and forcing the process, but rather just starting somewhere.  I congratulate myself for making it to the work space - then simply start doing something...anything. 

There are several things you can do to alter and elevate your mood:

  • browse your art books - they're on your bookshelf for a reason - rediscover what that reason is
  • mix some paint combinations you've never tried before
  • tidy the studio
  • start a dream list of exhibitions you aspire to enter
  • put a 6x6 support on the easel - play like nobody's watching
  • find that old Moleskin and start sketching
  • peruse achived work, reminding yourself of what you are capable of achieving and note how far you've come

Only in a perfect world could we go to our work stations every day full of joy, confidence and inspired anticipation.  At times it's simply drudgery.  Sometimes it's obligation driven or you're just "not in the mood". 

Recognizing that this is in fact "normal" and "ok" puts us in a proactive position.  Whether it be a day of contemplation, organization, reflection, learning, or practice, it is the gift of another day.  It's pretty universal to be "in the mood" for that. 

When your mojo is in the dumpster, how do you manage to lift yourself to higher ground?  

Comment on this post

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.