Lost your Mojo? Don’t Overthink it.

Lost your Mojo? Don’t Overthink it.

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. Several friends have told me recently they’ve lost their arty mojo. They’ve lost their way. Don’t know where to start. Can’t get going. So I thought perhaps we could talk about it? I was having a similar thing this afternoon. Trying to prepare for a TV show next Sunday, but what I was doing just wasn‘t working. Third run at the same thing – still no good. Then I heard myself say to me :

Don’t Overthink it.

And there it was. There was the golden ticket, the thing I had forgotten. It never works when I am trying to force it! I have to go with the flow and let it happen – and then it clicks.

So I abandoned the prep and came up with a simple exercise for all of us in letting go and not overthinking art. There’s a difference between concentrating on what you’re doing and overthinking something. Let’s try something, so that you get my drift…

Pick a Designer paper. Light enough that you will be able to see stamped images on it, and not too busy, so that you can see stamped images on it. The backs of ANY designer papers are a pretty safe bet. Don’t overthink it though. Just pick one which ticks those boxes that you like, and stick with it. I went with a Toscana Paper. Then I picked one of Leonie’s Scribble Stamps sets. Fabulous for this job…

Using a black inkpad – Archival or Versafine – start in the centre and stamp the images randomly all over the page, not overthinking the positioning; just concentrating on getting good stamped images all over. I found it very freeing when I stopped overthinking the precise position of the stamps and just planted them where they fitted. Remember: Any paper, any stamps. Just start in the middle and fill the sheet. Gaps are fine. Just do it.

Once the paper is full, chop it up. That’s right. Just cut the sheet up into 3 inch squares, and hang onto the other bits. Don’t worry about what bits look better -DON’T OVERTHINK IT!

Use a Black Sharpie pen to edge all the pieces.

Use a Tape runner to mount all the square pieces on white 3.5 inch square.

Go find your 5 inch square cardblanks and start mounting the squares to black and white cardblanks. By now you’ll want to pick which ones look better on black or white. And for the crowning glory: the stickers.

By now I was right into the process AND the result. By now, I wanted to add the narrative, the meaning. I find that our Word Stickers are brilliant for this. By this stage, I was in the game again, and thinking carefully about WHAT exactly I wanted to say. The colours and designs were a background thing.

Dave just came in with a cuppa for me, and spotted all the cards on the worktop. “Cor. They’re lovely, Barb. I love the colours. I would certainly be happy to receive a card like that. And wouldn’t they make a lovely gift set?”

All made with one sheet of Designer Paper and some random stamping. Didn’t take long either.

Try it. If you have lost your mojo, just put a little postit or bullet point somewhere where you can see it, which reads:  DON’T OVERTHINK IT.

It works – it really does.  And if random stamping then chopping up doesn’t work the first time, then try again tomorrow. Try a different paper and different stamps ! Something that looks like nothing as a whole can look really arty and abstract when chopped up.

Stay safe.

Love always

Barb xxx

17 thoughts on “Lost your Mojo? Don’t Overthink it.

  1. What a great idea and Dave is right they do look lovely xx and yes who wouldn’t want to receive them and a box set would be great xx as you say often the most simple of ideas can look the best xx definitely won’t be overthinking anymore lol thank you for the idea xx

  2. They look amazing, I will try this. I think we’ve all so busy over Xmas that our creativity deserted us. This is a great way of getting it flowing again. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us ( as always ) x

  3. Hi Barbara your makes are fantastic. My problem is not the ideas. I have hurt my back and crafting hurts at the moment. I am hoping rest and exercise will help. Have a great evening. Take care. Hugs xxx

  4. I think I have a die similar to this stamp, must have a go at something different, these made a lovely set. X

  5. Resisted buying these when they first came out but now that you have shown us how effective they can be it looks like a set or two may jump into my basket. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Stay safe.

  6. As soon as I have packed Christmas away
    I am going to try this great idea, just to free up the crafty juices and see what the outcome is. Thank you Barbara for the inspiration.x

  7. I love doing the chopping up thing. I’ve done it with abstract mixed media’s I’ve done in the past. Things chopped up can look so much nicer than the original- very arty!

    Thankyou Barbara for reminding me of this technique- I’ll be trying that tomorrow with some designer paper.

    Happy New Year ♥️

  8. So right Barbara, as always you know what to say and when to say it! Recently I haven’t been as creative as I’ve wanted to be or needed to be – my crafting is my “happy place” and I definitely need to get back there! I’ve been guilty of “overthinking it”, the ideas and inspiration may be there but I haven’t been able to let the “art flow”. Your wise words and lovely makes and samples are just the spur I need to move on creatively! Thank you.

  9. I agree with Dave – they look great. A great way to use those sheets that are not quite your favourite but by stamping & cutting up they look totally different. Another project to add to the to do list !
    I have caught up with the laundry from over Christmas & once the tree is down tomorrow I shall get back to crafting. Need several cards for January.

  10. Love this idea and I think I am going to make some notelets for letters I have to catch up with to friends. Will be much more fun than my usually bland letter paper

  11. Happy New Year. Thank you so much Barbara. I read all your blogs – they are the best and always seem to be exactly what I need to read or learn on the day I read – truly amazing. I appreciate you and your kindness, for caring, inspiring and so much more. Thank you for the step by step process today and the idea. I am excited to give it a go.

  12. You make this sound and look so easy. Overthinking is definitely a problem for me. If something doesn’t turn out exactly how I imagine it straight into the bin it goes. I suppose I’ve just got to pluck up the courage to chop it up rather than throw it away. This does look like good play time though so will definitely be giving it a try.

  13. Hi Barb, what a lovely and very productive arty exercise. I do tend to overthink things when crafting, so am going to give this a try and get my mind to break free. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  14. That is just so effective and pretty, who’d have thunk. LOL.
    Thanks Barbara, will try this. I know I do overthink things.

  15. Thank you for the great idea and advice as always. My crafty mojo has definitely been on a roller coaster most of the past year, with definitely more downs than ups, but this is something I think I can hopefully manage to try to give a go at. I agree with Dave, they do look really lovely 😍 Take care and stay safe… Much love, Nahid xXx 🙋🏼‍♀️🐈🦋💕

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