Have you ever wondered what exactly “Mojo” means? Well, the Urban Dictionary defines it as: “The word originally means a charm or a spell. But now it’s more commonly said meaning sex appeal or talent.” My personal interpretation for this word is more of a hybrid explanation because I believe it is rather a mixture of happiness combined with a little magical charm that I derive each time I am in my gumpasting mode. This mojo feeling is what motivates and excites me to create my various projects. However, I recently encountered an artistic dry spell and found that I couldn’t seem to get myself inspired to work on any of my gumpaste creations.
It all started when we had some work done on our home at the beginning of summer. This meant our house was in complete disarray and there was construction dust “everywhere”, which is a complete downer when you are working with gumpaste or fondant as they are real dust magnets. The result was that I had to put a hold on all my projects. That is when I decided to use the time to create Pinterest Boards (see: Follow Me On Pinterest). Needless to say, I was happy to have this diversion because it helped to keep me sane amongst all the construction chaos. Finally, the work was finished and after three straight days of me trying to clean almost every nook and cranny of our home I figured it was time to get back on the sugarcrafting saddle again. However, for some darn reason I just felt like an outer body experience was happening to me because I just didn’t feel that usual wonderful impulsive emotion I normally feel when I am about to or am working with gumpaste. So, I figured I must have lost my mojo. All I knew was I needed to regroup and get a grip on things.
So, here are some things I knew I needed to do to deal with my artistic ambivalence:
Change my mental thought process. I had to stop thinking I was unable to do it. Instead, I needed to remind myself how exciting it is to work with gumpaste! I had to again think about how fun it is to start a new project and how rewarding it is when I have completed it.
Take baby steps. By doing only the small and easiest parts of my projects first, I did not feel overwhelmed. I also found that organizing my workstation and storage area gave me a chance to revisit my tools and products that I love to use.
Find inspiration from others’ beautiful work. I went to the Internet to find sources of stimulus from other very talented sugarcrafters. I kept visiting one of my favorite websites: CakesDecor.com because there are thousands and thousands of fabulous cakes, ideas, flowers, objects, etc. there to explore.
Take classes and/or read books. I found that re-watching my two Alan Dunn classes was very therapeutic because seeing him exhibit his incredible sugarcrafting skills (along with hearing his British accent and calming voice) was quite a relaxing experience.
Take a stroll down memory lane. I recalled the sense of happiness I felt when I was pinning my own creations onto a Pinterest board, remembering the joy I previously had while making these projects. This time when I looked at them it helped me keep in mind what I was able to do in the past and it gave me optimism that I could still do it.
I am really hopeful that by addressing my creative setback publicly I will in some way be able to help others in a similar situation. So, if you should happen to sink into an artistic funk, don’t just sit there, get up and work your way through it. I promise you will be happy that you did!
A Sneak Peek
Here is a small preview of my upcoming project that I have been working on. It has taken me a little longer than I would have liked, but I am happy to report that I finally feel good (even after a few redos) about my gumpasting. I hope to have it posted in its entirety in the next week or two.
As I suspected I was not alone in this loss of motivation. There are quite a few articles on the Internet on how others cope with it. These are my favorite ones since they were written by respected ladies in the cake decorating industry.