Select Delivery Region:
Our magazines
In this section

"How I reboot my Creative Mojo"

Janet Ng

Posted on Tue 04 Dec 2018

Does self-fulfilling prophecy exist?

The story I hear often and fear is one that a creative person stopped being creative as they faced a mental block. Some say they had lost their creative mojo. As I listened with fear, I would also prayed silently at the back of my mind not to lose my creative mojo if I can help it.
As the saying goes “if you don’t use it and you lose it”.
Everyone’s creative journey is different and unique; I aim to share in this article how I had ‘rebooted my creative mojo’.
Wishing to be creative again was just a wish; it sure was a feat to get into action again as if taking a big leap to overcome dragging my leg on the floor. I took me almost a year to get my act together again.
I used to be rather creative and enjoy spending my free time creating art like painting or making crafts. When I began to feel as if I could morph into the sofa when I am at home, alarm bells began to ring at the back of my head as the fear that a self-prophecy could exist.

How I unleashed my creativity

Fear was the motivator that unleashed my creativity. My fear of losing the ability to paint terrifies me simply because it had been the activity I find most enjoyable as I could be in the state of flow. The day I found joy in painting I count my blessings to have found my passion from a hobby.
The setting of the scene
One night in my kitchen as I was just relaxing after dinner having tea while looking at my phone I stumbled upon my vacation photos. The kitchen being my happy spot at home and in a relaxed state coupled with the habit of looking at the photos in my phone must have set the scene and mood right. A thought spark the ignition to my imagination, I questioned myself how would I be able to convey the mood of the moment in the particular photos taken. To be a painter is a like a narrator, to be an artistic painter the artist’s brush becomes the extension of her body. I just challenged myself to convey the intensity of the feeling at that place at in that moment. So I picked three photos to adapt into paintings.

Managing expectations

Being kind to myself and setting my expectation to manage any disappointment as I had not painted for almost was a first step. My aim was to get into the momentum of doing a creative activity again. Although I did have a goal to finish what I start out painting and thought perhaps at worst I just discard the piece if it turns out bad. The activities of engaging the process and applying basics of knowing what to do, and somehow do it a bit differently from the previous steps slowly but surely the results eventually showed. A positive step just leads to another and after all the hours or a weekend, I did complete what I had set out to do.
I believe creativity is something one does; for me it is painting. Being ‘creative’ makes me feel very much alive, having my creative mojo back is like recharging the wires in my head. There has been research done to back up the health benefits of being creative, activity like painting is one of them.
Last weekend I surprised myself that I was able to produce three paintings which I am pleased at the final results. I adapted the paintings from my vacation photo of Holland. Holland is definitely one country I love visiting anytime – positive vibes, good people and great landscapes! It gives me joy just to share my art with you.
If you had a personal experience that you had overcome your creative block please share how you got your creative mojo back as I am curious to know and would be great to learn too.

End note : Mojo – as defined by the Oxford dictionary means a magic charm or spell.

(I first wrote this article on Sept 2018)


"How I reboot my Creative Mojo"

Comments

Please login or register to enter your comment click here

  • Hi Janet. I know only too well the problem of loosing ones “Mojo”, by the way some people get very upset by the use of that word, I don't why as the word does conveys the feeling of loss we get at those times extremely well, in a word the “magic” disappears though I do think the creativity never leaves us or we would not still yearn to be able to express in some way. In my case, well, for me painting is a form of meditation and selfishly I suppose I paint for no ones approval but my own on any subject that suits my mood at the time, so during those few hours of painting with old rock music in the background the world drops away as I become totally immersed in the work, Immersed really is the word as I do tend to get covered in paint through scrubbing brushes out on my shirt, never been able to cure myself of that and so to keep out of trouble I have to save my old shirts for use when painting. Anyway many times over the years I have come to a point where no subject appeals and nothing appears worth the effort of painting, the art world fades into insignificance and strangely I feel that all my previous work is some rubbish painted by another entity (could be true?). At this point I have always packed my brushes away and forgotten about art while positively engaging my spare time either building something, studying something, or outdoor activities, walking, travelling etc, whatever! Sooner or later something clicks and like a rubber ball I once again bounce back to painting quickly settling down to it as if there had been no absence, that said the “later” was once five years and in fact I have only recently started to paint again after another absence, it does give me time to get some old shirts together though.

    Posted by Robert Ward on Wed 05 Dec 10:39:12
  • What beautiful painting's you created. Your spark has definitely returned and your mojo is back in abundance there.

    I'm finding it hard to find mine, it's like I'm at a creative block, and I don't know which way to go. I have been doing dribs and drabs but nothing spectacular. Nothing I have really thoroughly and truly enjoyed.
    It's like I want to do it, I think about it constantly, I spend hours looking at other people's work, and enjoy what they have done, but the process of myself sitting down (or standing up) to actually art has gone.

    I'm broken! It's like there's something switched off inside, and I need something to come along and switch it back on. It could be that I have 3 demanding young children, a chronic illness or just that I'm being lazy and not making time for me.
    Whatever it is I really do want it to sort it's self out. Any advice is good advice to get back on track.

    Posted by Jennifer Edwards on Wed 05 Dec 20:35:24
  • Hi Robert and Jennifer thanks for reading and sharing.
    @Robert, I must say I live long enough to have create bad art or seen bad art that are in museums which is most amusing. I wish you loads of creative mojo and fun everyday!
    @Jennifer, I am sorry to hear you are having challenging times now. Are you able to squeeze some time for yourself or is your time dedicated for your family? If you can squeeze a bit of time maybe you can start finding out what is available and keep trying until it clicks and get your mojo back. Are you a social person that may like to join a art club or does the hospital have some art therapy program for patients as part of treatment? Or can you involve the kids to make an art project together. To make spectacular art is subjective, I think it could be the process of making art that is important and correct me if I am got it wrong, its getting into the "flow". If you have to think too hard its not in the "flow". I am very interested in art therapy but could not volunteer as one has to be fully certified to practice it. Here in Singapore, some government hospital include art therapy for patients and ex-patients. For me finding time to myself works, its a pity we do not have art clubs here as I would definitely give it a try. I also make horrible art just to get it out of my system, I do bin them its like a cleansing ritual process. Dont give up making art and I wish you well.

    Posted by Janet Ng on Thu 06 Dec 07:21:47