Well I warned you.....I'm doing something different today! I've been thinking about this for a while now, actually about two months. Why so long? Well that is how long I have been playing without Mojo. Yes, Mojo has decided to take an extended vacation to parts unknown, and he didn't even bother to send a 'wish you were here' postcard!!!!!!
If you are not familiar with Mojo, here are some definitions for you........
A power that may seem magical and that allows someone to be very effective, successful, etc.
A magic spell, hex, or charm; broadly : magical power <works his mojo on the tennis court>
From Urban Dictionary:
The word originally means a charm or a spell. But now its more commonly said meaning sex appeal or talent.
Okay, so those are interesting definitions. And they really don't completely describe what I mean, when I say Mojo. So here is my definition............
The act of pulling together any combination of papers, canvas, embellishments, sprays, inks, mediums, and any other art/scrappy products, into one cohesive project, that is absolutely the bomb! The kind of project, that when you are finished with it, you want to show it off to the world! You are on your game, you are rocking the products, you are able to get done with one, and go right into another project, without stopping to take a breath in between, because the stars have aligned, and the talent is flowing!
Can you relate? Of course you can!!! We have all had that special moment, where we are very proud of our efforts. For some it seems to happen all the time. For others, it's intermittent. Now don't misunderstand me here, I am not saying that some people can keep cranking out stunning projects 100% of the time. That is not possible, no one can do that. We all have periods of artist block.
- Life and the normal everyday activities you need to do
- Emergency situations
Pretty normal stuff, and all of which can kill our creativity. Now, I'm sure there are more general issues I could add to that list. But those five are at the top.
But that's not all.....
What about comparing your work to other's? That will take your creativity right into the dump, and make it take the vacation of a lifetime. Because, let's face it, we are all unique, our styles (yes you have one!) are unique and none of us can do exactly what another artist does. Yes we can lift, we can emulate, we can try their style. But the fact is that we are not them, so therefore, we will not create like them 100% of the time. And why would you want to? Eventually you would burn out and lose interest. And don't forget.......they have times with no mojo too!! Everyone has that happen!!! They may not talk about it, but it still happens. And yet you find yourself thinking, 'they' are still cranking out gorgeousness........you know why? One, because they are true to themselves. They have found their style, and what works for them. And because of that, they can rely on tried and true when Mojo takes a vaca!!!! And two, you don't get to see the rejects....the projects that have made their way to the garbage can. We all throw away un-lovable/crappy/ugly/etc projects!!
And that my friends, is the main reason I have had no Mojo for the last two months! Yep, I do it, I compare my work to other's works. Yes, I even judge my work, and deem it un-showable, because....well it may not be great, it might even be embarassing. You ever notice how quickly I can run a post through by glossing over it with .....short post today! Yep....I really don't even want you to look at it! It makes me cringe to even think about posting those projects. And if I'm going to be completely honest here, that is the main reason that I barely ever posted any projects on my blog. I might have shown you the ones I really loved in detail, but the rest........not very often.
Now, let me tell you a little story.......a while back I posted a layout on Facebook. I always post my projects to my personal page, MyMadkow page and Paper People page. This particular layout, was not one of my faves. It was okay, but nothing special....... to me that is.....and yes I was comparing at the time. Anyways, the next morning, I had about 30 comments, and over a 100 likes on that particular post. The very next day, I posted my fave layout, to the same FB pages, and got like nothing in comments, and very few likes. Interesting isn't it? Kind of makes you think about how you view your work, doesn't it?
That was the beginning. That opened my eyes. So then I tried to replicate what worked....yeah, I need the love too! Anyways, guess what happened? It didn't work! And that brings me to my next point......
Find your unique you! And what is that? Well it is the common thread that weaves itself in all of your truly you projects. And that can be anything, from how you scrap, how many layers you add, how you place flowers, add gesso, paint, mists, etc, etc. Do you love shabby chic, maybe you're into grunge, how about traditional? The list is endless. But what do you do when your style is eclectic? Mine is....I love shabby chic, I love grungy, I love mixed media......I love it all. And not just in scrapping and artsying (new word!), that is how I live my life too! It's my home decor style, it's how I dress, it's how I work, etc. You know what? My creativity and style are still in evident in those differing styles. There is a common thread....I just need to find it.
Yes you read that correctly....I need to find my style. Better yet, I need to reconnect with my style! And that can be difficult to accomplish....but I will leave that for another post.
So what happens, when your Mojo takes an extended vacation?
For me, it's difficult. Very difficult, even painful at times, because creating is what keeps me sane! Not only that, but when I don't have Mojo, I can't even try. Literally......I can pull out everything and it will sit on my desk, and I will sit and stare at those gorgeous products, and then.....nothing!! And then there is the need for love.......yes, that is the second time I have mentioned it. Maybe that isn't important to you, or maybe it is. Yes, it brightens my day when someone says something nice about my projects! Yes it makes me feel good! And yes, I need it!
So what am I doing about it?
First, every time I start to think about comparing my work to other's, I stop. I am not 'that person', I will never be that person. And I will never scrap/art like that person! Second, I am revisiting older projects that I loved, and am reworking some of them....basically I am lifting my own projects, and trying to reconnect with my style. Third, I am trying to remember, that my work is uniquely me, and that I need to be true to that and to me! And fourth, everyone has their own opinion about what is ugly, beautiful, stunning, etc. What matters most, is what I feel about my work...did you notice, I didn't say think? Because my thoughts can be deceptive. Especially in light of the above. So I'm going with how scrapping and artsying make me feel.......alive!
And that my friends, is all that matters! Do you art/scrap for yourself or for others? If it's for others, you will never be successful at it. If you do it for yourself, and continue to develop your own style and become true to yourself, somehow, somewhere, people will connect with your work. And you will find that Mojo doesn't need to take a vacation!
Now I want to show you a couple of projects made for Flying Unicorn, using the January Main Kit and Addons. And yes, to an extent, I will gloss over them......after all I am showing them at the end of that horrendously long post, aren't I?
The basics are there, for a great idea I had......but honestly, it sucks. Now, do keep in mind, that I was working sans Mojo, for these projects. This didn't turn out how I envisioned it. Which makes me sad. Why? My idea was to showcase 'gifts of love' from my grand-son........he loves to give me little things he finds, rocks, flowers, shells, etc. Each one is a 'splendid thing'!!! But my idea went south, with the bottom canvas. I should have just re-worked the top one, like I felt I should do, but instead, I stuck to what I thought I had to do. I'll talk about that in the other post I mentioned. Soon, I promise!!
And here is another......
Not much to this tag, right? Actually the JN image is hand painted with watercolors. I didn't add much of anything else, even though I thought I should. But, I didn't feel the need to add more, and this time, I went with that. I actually like this one, even if it is plain Jane Jim.
So there you have it.........