5.13.2008

readers speak: tuning out.



I've been doing quite a bit of outside reading on my balcony for the past week, and it's been such a pleasure to take in the sunshine and relax [sans for the wretched beach motorcycles that drive by my house at least eleven and a half times a day].

I often find that when I'm uninspired it has nothing to do with seeking out new resources in an attempt to freshen my eye and unearth new finds. I think this community is fortunate enough that there will always be new leaves to turn over and ALWAYS new avenues to trot on. It's the beauty of art, design and creative purposes.

For me, a lack of inspiration stems from becoming so immersed into this lovely, lovely community that I sometimes lose my own voice among the noise. I marvel at the wonders of our individual gifts, but then sometimes fail to focus the attention onto my own. Luckily, I can feel myself grow uninspired when I sift through pages and pages of beauty and can't relate to the artist. That? That is my red flag.

So today, I will sit outside on my balcony and do my best to ignore the hoodlums of Los Angeles outside my window. Instead, I will regroup and redirect my thoughts for a fresh outlook tomorrow.

Love to each and every one of you.

“All noise is waste. So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Speak habitually low. Wait for attention and then you low words will be charged with dynamite.”

--Elbert Hubbard

40 comments:

Octavine Illustration said...

wonderfully introspective post....i love what you say about losing your voice in the noise. but don't worry my dear, i hear you loud and clear.

Krissy said...

It's a great thing that you can sense the red flag, because so many people don't know themselves well enough to do so. I hope you have a lovely day! And just so you know that we all appreciate your inspiration as much as we do because it is so fresh and new :)

(I didn't mean to make that rhyme)

Lisa said...

i just found your blog and love it. im bookmarking now :)

Lisa said...

i just found your blog and love it. im bookmarking now :)

quaint handmade said...

i agree with krissy!

heidi said...

you deserve a break Erin... Enjoy!

littlemithi said...

I hear you Miss! Somedays I just want to sit by the riverside and stare at the birds. Hope your balcony is a good refuge :) Hugs...

Lorrie said...

This post really hits home for me. I find myself reading (what seems) hundreds of blogs a day and getting inspired and loving all of the things other people do that I find it hard to figure out if I truly like something or if I like it because so and so likes it.
Its hard to find ones own voice and style at times and something I am trying to figure out on my own. Often times I often wonder what my creative efforts would be like without the internet? What would move me?
I'm trying to cut back on outside inspiration as much as possible, but its hard. Its a hard line to walk on now knowing what is truly you.
I know how you feel and where you are. I too just resigned from my full time job to be a creative in some form or another.

Lesley Denford said...

Relax, recharge, and come back when you're feeling clear and ready. You deserve a break from the noise!

I've canceled my commitment tonight to stay home with some red wine and ice cream. I feel like I need it.

Lovely polaroid, too. :)

JLC Studio said...

So true...sometimes you just need to take a step back and regroup! Thanks for the reminder :)

design for mankind. said...

Ahhh, thank you all for your lovely comments. I think the most wonderful thing is that once you take a step back and breathe deeply and quietly--- you miss the noise.

It's only been two hours and I'm longing to check in again! Alas, I vow to NOT return until tomorrow. :)

OK I'll try not to... ;)

Good night everyone!

nicole said...

here's to a fresh tomorrow and a relaxing today. and here's a hug, too.

Julia said...

i totally agree with this sentiment. i find that although i am continually inspired by flickr and blogs and other internet (and print) resources, when i spend too much time looking, i can get really overwhelmed about my own making. it's important to find a balance between being inspired by others, but still taking time and making space for your own creative voice.

thanks for writing this post.

karina said...

Somthing like that happened to me, last year and again a weeks ago I just stopped and read Travesuras de la niña mala, it takes my head of visual things and It worked.
Last year it was worst I am in the making my hose and, I get lost and I did not what I like or dislike.
I ve became very fond of you and your blog lately.

painted fish studio said...

sit outside as long as you need to e! you've got a lot on your shoulders, and we know you're human and need to step away from everything once in a while.

Melissa Lewis-Off The Wall said...

Well Erin, I couldn't agree with you more. It's so easy to get swept away and lose track in the wonderful blog world, in addition to the real world we live in. Good thing you know where it all really comes from and where the real focus should lie.

Hope you have enjoyed the time off. I really want to tell you take as much time as you need, but I would miss your lovely posts:)

What are you reading? Have you finished Searching for God knows what? I just laid out Abba's Child by Brennan Manning to start reading tonight.

A Print A Day said...

i agree with you 110%!

that's why i'm glad i took that mini vacation, and now that i'm back, i'm much more inspired!

:)

y

jess gonacha said...

lately i've been trying to step back a little bit, too. i find that looking at SO MUCH stuff by other people hinders me sometimes in finding my own thoughts and images. there are too many other things floating around in my head!! when i can relax and step back and take bit of a break, it is SO HELPFUL. and i come back more inspired than before!

i wish i could come sit on your balcony with you! we could drink iced tea and make friendship bracelets!! (did you do that in, like, 4th grade? i SO did...)

Julia said...

Bless you for taking the time to recharge! Thank you for the inspiration. I think I need to do just that.

Come back to us when the time is right :)

Hugs!

lisa s said...

good for you!
hope the balcony and rest were just what you needed

danica said...

I hope you enjoy a well deserved mini-break, Erin :)

Fledgling said...

I'd like to share with you what a journalism professor shared with me about "writer's block". I think it can apply to any creative process. She said writer's block was just your subconscious mind taking over the project for a while.

It's like this: Your conscious mind can't work on what is on the subconscious' desk, because that "desk" is the same neural circuits in the ventral pallidium (Reptile brain, people. Totally. Like the scientist dudes at University College in London totally figured it out).

Like any great collaboration, these two minds work together, but they work apart. You might want to knock politely on the subconscious' locked office door occasionally, by consciously doing any little creative project (potholder? sandcastle? drum circle?). But don't pressure the gal. She's strong-willed, has a mind of her own and has put herself at the top of the decision-making org chart right now. The subconscious will come through eventually and come through like gangbusters and exceed your expectations.

Was it Franz Schubert? I think so. He began that symphonic work and it sort of petered out into that magnificent piano concerto? And he didn't get to writing that darn first symphony for another 12 years. Or was it 17? Whatever. A really long time. And people died a lot younger back then.

In the meantime, get a Harley ;-)

All the best, -N.

Rina said...

Hi! I love your blog, is so inspiring and beautiful. Thanks for sharing this beauty with us!

kT said...

oh i know the feeling. i've spent two hours just staring at all the pretty paper i have to work with and nothing comes. I get so much out of looking at other's work and still nothing happens.

Enjoy the break. recharge and etc. :)

Nanette said...

Erin, you scrumptious thing, you. I love the story of trying to start a shop for the homeless knitter. What a cool street and what a hefty dose of humanity going on in downtown LA.
x

karina said...

Heyyy! I loved your post at Bloesem,
you are a writer!!!!

Kelly C. said...

i couldn't agree with you more. my work depends on having ample time to stair at blank walls or blank paper or the woods and to have space in my head. i've been feeling a bit over-loaded this week. it's good to know it and step away.
*

stacy said...

Great post. I understand completely.

Enjoy the opportunity to sit and regroup.

design for mankind. said...

Oh gracious--- you guys are SO SO sweet. Honestly. What would I do without you?

Thank you for understanding. I'm back, recharged and loving life once again! :)

God bless.

Joanna Goddard said...

that is such a great point. i completely understand and agree. sometimes when i'm feeling uninspired, if i take a few days off and walk around and just "be," then i come back with so many ideas and so much energy! it's funny how that works, how quiet time can give you so much energy....

glad you're feeling good again! your balcony sounds lovely!
joannaxo

ann said...

so, so true. (p.s. i also live in LA and it's still hard to find quiet even when everything is turned off!)

diana @ please sir said...

I agree - and like what others have said - I feel a bit lost in this sea of inspiration. Even a bit guilty at times for not spending more effort on my art or designs. I'm really confused on the dynamics of the blog world, and whether having so much inspiration is a good or bad thing.

design for mankind. said...

I couldn't agree more with everything you're mentioning here, ladies. I think it's all about balance, truly. Isn't everything? Eek!

But how? I'm not sure... perhaps a post in the making?

Jessie Cacciola said...

i couldn't agree more.
- Jessie -

quaint handmade said...

a post sounds good with tips! like, how not to develop "back of the head syndrome" from spending too much time exploring online. my husband forgets what i look like from the front sometimes ;).

design for mankind. said...

Good idea, Cindy! I'm on it... ;)

artsharyne said...

I love the Hubbard quote & adore the polaroid.
Here's another quote I thought you might appreciate :)
"There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub." ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

wishing you peace & inspiration
Sharyne

design for mankind. said...

Sharyne--- that is such a great quote!!! Thank you so so much.

chou said...

Oh, you tore away the veil and unearthed reality.

{this is glamorous} said...

Wonderfully introspective. Have been taking quite a few steps back recently, mainly because life is so busy and it's easy to get overwhelmed. Lovely to sit back on your porch and take a few moments . . .

BTW, loved your refrigerator contribution! I know the ordering in feeling :)

welcome.

because beauty lies in the details of design. in the pencil shavings, in the blueberry waffles. the vintage dress, framed portrait, old postcard.

design is inevitable. celebrated. design for mankind.

5.13.2008

readers speak: tuning out.



I've been doing quite a bit of outside reading on my balcony for the past week, and it's been such a pleasure to take in the sunshine and relax [sans for the wretched beach motorcycles that drive by my house at least eleven and a half times a day].

I often find that when I'm uninspired it has nothing to do with seeking out new resources in an attempt to freshen my eye and unearth new finds. I think this community is fortunate enough that there will always be new leaves to turn over and ALWAYS new avenues to trot on. It's the beauty of art, design and creative purposes.

For me, a lack of inspiration stems from becoming so immersed into this lovely, lovely community that I sometimes lose my own voice among the noise. I marvel at the wonders of our individual gifts, but then sometimes fail to focus the attention onto my own. Luckily, I can feel myself grow uninspired when I sift through pages and pages of beauty and can't relate to the artist. That? That is my red flag.

So today, I will sit outside on my balcony and do my best to ignore the hoodlums of Los Angeles outside my window. Instead, I will regroup and redirect my thoughts for a fresh outlook tomorrow.

Love to each and every one of you.

“All noise is waste. So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Speak habitually low. Wait for attention and then you low words will be charged with dynamite.”

--Elbert Hubbard

40 comments:

Octavine Illustration said...

wonderfully introspective post....i love what you say about losing your voice in the noise. but don't worry my dear, i hear you loud and clear.

Krissy said...

It's a great thing that you can sense the red flag, because so many people don't know themselves well enough to do so. I hope you have a lovely day! And just so you know that we all appreciate your inspiration as much as we do because it is so fresh and new :)

(I didn't mean to make that rhyme)

Lisa said...

i just found your blog and love it. im bookmarking now :)

Lisa said...

i just found your blog and love it. im bookmarking now :)

quaint handmade said...

i agree with krissy!

heidi said...

you deserve a break Erin... Enjoy!

littlemithi said...

I hear you Miss! Somedays I just want to sit by the riverside and stare at the birds. Hope your balcony is a good refuge :) Hugs...

Lorrie said...

This post really hits home for me. I find myself reading (what seems) hundreds of blogs a day and getting inspired and loving all of the things other people do that I find it hard to figure out if I truly like something or if I like it because so and so likes it.
Its hard to find ones own voice and style at times and something I am trying to figure out on my own. Often times I often wonder what my creative efforts would be like without the internet? What would move me?
I'm trying to cut back on outside inspiration as much as possible, but its hard. Its a hard line to walk on now knowing what is truly you.
I know how you feel and where you are. I too just resigned from my full time job to be a creative in some form or another.

Lesley Denford said...

Relax, recharge, and come back when you're feeling clear and ready. You deserve a break from the noise!

I've canceled my commitment tonight to stay home with some red wine and ice cream. I feel like I need it.

Lovely polaroid, too. :)

JLC Studio said...

So true...sometimes you just need to take a step back and regroup! Thanks for the reminder :)

design for mankind. said...

Ahhh, thank you all for your lovely comments. I think the most wonderful thing is that once you take a step back and breathe deeply and quietly--- you miss the noise.

It's only been two hours and I'm longing to check in again! Alas, I vow to NOT return until tomorrow. :)

OK I'll try not to... ;)

Good night everyone!

nicole said...

here's to a fresh tomorrow and a relaxing today. and here's a hug, too.

Julia said...

i totally agree with this sentiment. i find that although i am continually inspired by flickr and blogs and other internet (and print) resources, when i spend too much time looking, i can get really overwhelmed about my own making. it's important to find a balance between being inspired by others, but still taking time and making space for your own creative voice.

thanks for writing this post.

karina said...

Somthing like that happened to me, last year and again a weeks ago I just stopped and read Travesuras de la niña mala, it takes my head of visual things and It worked.
Last year it was worst I am in the making my hose and, I get lost and I did not what I like or dislike.
I ve became very fond of you and your blog lately.

painted fish studio said...

sit outside as long as you need to e! you've got a lot on your shoulders, and we know you're human and need to step away from everything once in a while.

Melissa Lewis-Off The Wall said...

Well Erin, I couldn't agree with you more. It's so easy to get swept away and lose track in the wonderful blog world, in addition to the real world we live in. Good thing you know where it all really comes from and where the real focus should lie.

Hope you have enjoyed the time off. I really want to tell you take as much time as you need, but I would miss your lovely posts:)

What are you reading? Have you finished Searching for God knows what? I just laid out Abba's Child by Brennan Manning to start reading tonight.

A Print A Day said...

i agree with you 110%!

that's why i'm glad i took that mini vacation, and now that i'm back, i'm much more inspired!

:)

y

jess gonacha said...

lately i've been trying to step back a little bit, too. i find that looking at SO MUCH stuff by other people hinders me sometimes in finding my own thoughts and images. there are too many other things floating around in my head!! when i can relax and step back and take bit of a break, it is SO HELPFUL. and i come back more inspired than before!

i wish i could come sit on your balcony with you! we could drink iced tea and make friendship bracelets!! (did you do that in, like, 4th grade? i SO did...)

Julia said...

Bless you for taking the time to recharge! Thank you for the inspiration. I think I need to do just that.

Come back to us when the time is right :)

Hugs!

lisa s said...

good for you!
hope the balcony and rest were just what you needed

danica said...

I hope you enjoy a well deserved mini-break, Erin :)

Fledgling said...

I'd like to share with you what a journalism professor shared with me about "writer's block". I think it can apply to any creative process. She said writer's block was just your subconscious mind taking over the project for a while.

It's like this: Your conscious mind can't work on what is on the subconscious' desk, because that "desk" is the same neural circuits in the ventral pallidium (Reptile brain, people. Totally. Like the scientist dudes at University College in London totally figured it out).

Like any great collaboration, these two minds work together, but they work apart. You might want to knock politely on the subconscious' locked office door occasionally, by consciously doing any little creative project (potholder? sandcastle? drum circle?). But don't pressure the gal. She's strong-willed, has a mind of her own and has put herself at the top of the decision-making org chart right now. The subconscious will come through eventually and come through like gangbusters and exceed your expectations.

Was it Franz Schubert? I think so. He began that symphonic work and it sort of petered out into that magnificent piano concerto? And he didn't get to writing that darn first symphony for another 12 years. Or was it 17? Whatever. A really long time. And people died a lot younger back then.

In the meantime, get a Harley ;-)

All the best, -N.

Rina said...

Hi! I love your blog, is so inspiring and beautiful. Thanks for sharing this beauty with us!

kT said...

oh i know the feeling. i've spent two hours just staring at all the pretty paper i have to work with and nothing comes. I get so much out of looking at other's work and still nothing happens.

Enjoy the break. recharge and etc. :)

Nanette said...

Erin, you scrumptious thing, you. I love the story of trying to start a shop for the homeless knitter. What a cool street and what a hefty dose of humanity going on in downtown LA.
x

karina said...

Heyyy! I loved your post at Bloesem,
you are a writer!!!!

Kelly C. said...

i couldn't agree with you more. my work depends on having ample time to stair at blank walls or blank paper or the woods and to have space in my head. i've been feeling a bit over-loaded this week. it's good to know it and step away.
*

stacy said...

Great post. I understand completely.

Enjoy the opportunity to sit and regroup.

design for mankind. said...

Oh gracious--- you guys are SO SO sweet. Honestly. What would I do without you?

Thank you for understanding. I'm back, recharged and loving life once again! :)

God bless.

Joanna Goddard said...

that is such a great point. i completely understand and agree. sometimes when i'm feeling uninspired, if i take a few days off and walk around and just "be," then i come back with so many ideas and so much energy! it's funny how that works, how quiet time can give you so much energy....

glad you're feeling good again! your balcony sounds lovely!
joannaxo

ann said...

so, so true. (p.s. i also live in LA and it's still hard to find quiet even when everything is turned off!)

diana @ please sir said...

I agree - and like what others have said - I feel a bit lost in this sea of inspiration. Even a bit guilty at times for not spending more effort on my art or designs. I'm really confused on the dynamics of the blog world, and whether having so much inspiration is a good or bad thing.

design for mankind. said...

I couldn't agree more with everything you're mentioning here, ladies. I think it's all about balance, truly. Isn't everything? Eek!

But how? I'm not sure... perhaps a post in the making?

Jessie Cacciola said...

i couldn't agree more.
- Jessie -

quaint handmade said...

a post sounds good with tips! like, how not to develop "back of the head syndrome" from spending too much time exploring online. my husband forgets what i look like from the front sometimes ;).

design for mankind. said...

Good idea, Cindy! I'm on it... ;)

artsharyne said...

I love the Hubbard quote & adore the polaroid.
Here's another quote I thought you might appreciate :)
"There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub." ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

wishing you peace & inspiration
Sharyne

design for mankind. said...

Sharyne--- that is such a great quote!!! Thank you so so much.

chou said...

Oh, you tore away the veil and unearthed reality.

{this is glamorous} said...

Wonderfully introspective. Have been taking quite a few steps back recently, mainly because life is so busy and it's easy to get overwhelmed. Lovely to sit back on your porch and take a few moments . . .

BTW, loved your refrigerator contribution! I know the ordering in feeling :)