26 November 2013

Status update

Lollo looks so proud and arrogant in this photo. Not like today when he simply looked confused :)

I thought I'd update my status, I feel I write so little of my life on the blog that it was time to make up for it. I personally don't like when personal blogs somehow stop being personal.
I'll start at the beginning of the year. In february I went to Lofoten to teach, as I have the past years, and in march I began to work as a graphic designer at an ad agency.  At first the job was really fun. It was my first real employment ever so I was very new to the environment. I had been unemployed for 8 months before that (after graduating university).

During the summer me and Robert made a roadtrip to Norway and later I went to visit my sister in Italy (I still haven't showed pictures from that, but I will :). After the vacation the job situation changed. I was involved in a really stressful project that left me with a strong migraine (one afternoon I couldn't walk straight, couldn't talk right, was numb in the left part of my body and had blurry eyesight). It wasn't a big deal in reality, I just had never experienced a strong migraine before, but it left me a little worried - that a working environment could effect your body that much (especially since an ambulance came to get me because they thought I was having a stroke).

Well, the migraine hasn't come back after that so all is well. But yes, after summer work wasn't as much fun and I could feel that we were loosing clients. In the end of september this was confirmed and we were told that 7 people had to leave the office. I was the newbie so of course I had to go. During my last month I looked for work almost every day and our creative director was very kind and did his best to recommend me to other places. Luckily I was offered a new spot at a smaller agency a few days ago. I start next week so this week I am free to do what I please.

It feels good to continue to a new place. I don't think that the agency I left was bad, but the economical situation effected the mood a lot and made it a difficult environment to be in. I know many people have experienced this in a working place, so I'm sure some of you know the feeling.

People ask me what my current personal art projects are... but I haven't got any yet. I want to force myself... and also I don't. Maybe I've been looking to much at other peoples work - and sometimes I just get the feeling that I don't know what I can contribute with anymore. I feel like everything's been done and that we're all just copying each other nowadays. Before ideas for illustrations and photographs used to pop up in my head, just like that, but now it's been blank for a while. If you have any words of wisdom concerning this creative stillness, please feel free to share :)
For an artist it's completely terrifying when the creative spark is gone. Because the creativity is so much in your personality. 


  1. Fear not! It's ok to feel how you feel, and it's ok to accept that.

    When you judge yourself before you give your heart a chance to speak, you obstruct the flow. Everything has been done, yet nothing has been done. It is not the product that matters, but the joy and beauty in your heart that sets you afire when you are doing what you love. Whatever you do, it will be unlike anything anyone else is doing because it is from your heart.

    If you are finding that you are unable to get out of the funk, I recommend some journaling exercises. I find these two books exceptionally helpful:
    Professional Dreamer by Ghalil
    Emotional Options by Mandy Evans

    Also, thank you for sharing. Sometimes, with the internet and creative, amazing things popping up everywhere, it's hard to remember that all these people have struggles and seasons of their inner and outer expression. I know that every creative person I am close to has been through this, and it's not the end, just simply a time before a new beginning.

    Cheers and take yourself out on a date!

  2. So, here is a response from someone you don’t really know but feels he has grown to know you somewhat through your work and writings. I (and no doubt many others) have used you as a creative guidepost and inspiration and cannot help but react to your comments regarding your own creative intermission. I am a musician/songwriter and have faced this intermission many times and in my discussions with other songwriters have discovered there are many who believe that their best work comes only in unexpected moments of inspiration when they are not actively working on a project. I have felt this myself and feel greatly connected to those songs that I have written in a flash of creativity. It is a great feeling. But through the years I have come to realize that just as many of my better songs have been labored over , sometimes for years , searching for the right lyric or melodic moment through trial and error and editing. How much good work would I have missed had I simply waited for the muse to arrive. The work itself for me is so fulfilling whether it is the joyful eruption of creativity or the slog through hopefully inspired craftsmanship that leads me to the thing that gives me pride and pleasure. It is why so many writers wake up in the morning and whether they have anything to write or not go to the place where they create and put paper to pencil and produce something, anything. I do the same. I found myself the other day not having written anything for weeks, not having wrestled with any idea. So I sat down and said “I will play 3 chords and build a melody on them, and they will take me to a lyric. If it is trash I will do it again.” I wrote one of my favorite songs , and an idea within it took me to the start of another.
    I am 60 years old and for some reason believe that I am at the peak of my abilities and am yet to produce my best work. I cannot adequately tell you how much your work and spirit has moved and inspired me to do more. You are one of the most creative lives I have ever witnessed and am so thankful that you have chosen to share your work as openly as you have. I selfishly hope that you choose not to wait for the muse to move you to create but choose rather to daily open the door for that muse to move you. There is a lifetime of reward in that. You are blessed beyond belief to be able to create beauty and art with the most powerful of all artists tools, the imagination. Yours is much larger than most for a reason. I hope someday that I am able through my work to inspire someone to create, or continue creating as you have inspired me.

  3. First of all congratulations to your new job! I hope it will be good!

    What you write about this creative intermission... I don't think you have to worry about that or force yourself too much into doing something creative. On the contrary, I think this intermission is healthy - healthy for yourself and for your art. I consider these "blank times" as a regeneration process (the "Doctor Who"-Fan in me...), where you take a step back from your work and art and question it. I think this often comes together with changes in life. And after some time, something new combined with the old will come out of your mind, I'm sure. It's difficult for me to express myself, but I hope you understand a bit of my ramblings:)

    PS: I also think that inspiration is a bit overrated - everyone needs inspiration from others and life, that's clear - but the Internet creates a soooo huge fload of "inspiration" that the positive things of inspiration turn into something negative and starting to stop ideas coming. I think.

  4. Dear Uli,

    I couldn't resist to write some suggestions on your problem of finding inspiration. Past few months I had similar problem. I had a strenght to create but didn't have inspiration. I think that one of the best solutions is quite banal - to leave your comfort zone. For a few hours, for a few days or weeks to find new horizons. For example, if you work mainly with photos and drawings, you could contact with local film producers, actors, or people who actually don't work in creative sector and to learn more about filmmaking, about theatre decorations or pie shop managers duties. You would get new insights of this world, that out there are many different people all with various opinions and attitude towards life. Maybe you should make short movie about how to find inspiration. There is so much to do and learn out there, we just have to be brave to experiment!


    Ms. Anonymous (Latvian, regularly following your blog)

  5. Hey Uli,

    I often experience times of creative stillness and inspiration overload too! I don't usually force myself to come up with new ideas either, I find it better to wait until I fall in love with a new idea again which usually comes along soon enough. The fact that you notice similarlity is a good thing, I think it shows that you want to remain unique.

    Creative minds constantly look for improvement. I think a stillness is a natural time for reflection and development and often leads you to come up with even better work.

    I hope my thoughts are helpful. Good Luck in your new job, it sounds like a change in environment is just whats needed.

    Nikki x

  6. Good luck for your new job, I now how stressful your situation might be (and as a migraine person myself since childhood, do not fear, it's just your body giving (strong) advice to you: stop and relax !). I don't feel that I really know you but I've been following your blog for a few years and I must admit that I was a little worried with your silence these past few weeks. So it's good to hear from you, and I truly believe that the worst is over because you move forward and identify problems. Once you've labelled the issues, you have almost solved them.

    About the creative stillness, I agree with the others that it's a part of the process. Personally I find that when this happens, its because I am about to move forward and improve. Maybe don't be too hard on yourself, it will only add stress, but do something new or something you love, that may or may not art-related.
    I hope this helps, all the best for the next weeks and for all of your personal projects, whatever they might be.

  7. Thank you for being so kind and taking time to comment and share your advice/life experience with me. It's heart warming that I have such creative and intelligent followers.
    Thank you! Every comment was very smart :)