Creativity Countdown Week 6: Using Difficult Times as Inspiration (and using creativity to get through difficult times)

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Each Monday for the next 6 weeks I’ll be posting a Creativity Booster.  There will be a variety of activities to try.  Sometimes there will be videos and sometimes photos.  These activities will boost your creativity and make you feel more creative so that you can express yourself in your jewelry making.

What are we counting down to?

Well, I’m so glad you asked!  January 5, 2015 (I know it seems far off now!) we’ll be starting our next round of Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse.  It’s a six week eCourse with weekly prompts to help you rediscover or boost your creativity, jewelry lessons and jewelry projects.

To learn more about Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry, click here.

Week 8 can be found here.

Week 7 can be found here.

Week 6

Everybody has difficult times and rough patches in their life.  It’s part of being human.  I have them.  You have them.  Every one of us has them.

At the end of September and basically lasting a month or so, I had a really rough time.  On my worst days I could only do the bare minimum necessary for living.  (Luckily there weren’t many of those days mostly thanks to my supportive, loving husband.)  On days when it wasn’t quite that bad, I used art as a way to help me through.

I remember a few years ago I was going through one of these tough times.  I could not face the world.  I shut myself in my studio and made jewelry for hours upon hours.  People would say, “You want to talk about it?”

I’d say, “No, I want to make jewelry.”

Jewelry making made me able to focus.

Within a few days I was able to talk to people.  I was slowly able to start dealing with what had happened.  I got stronger and things got better.

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Here are 5 ways that art can help with difficult times

(By art I mean anything creative.  Could be jewelry making, painting, knitting, writing, sewing, etc.)

1.  It gives you something else to focus on.  Instead of every thought and every breath being about the terrible thing that happened, your illness, your depression or whatever it is that you’re having difficulty with, you can focus on painting or making jewelry or whatever your art is.

2.  It gives you focus.  Okay, I just said that in #1, but I mean it in a slightly different way here.  Your brain actually has more concentration and focus.

3.  You can express your feelings in a more productive way.  Whatever you make doesn’t even really matter.  It can be really crappy and you hate it when you’re done.  That’s okay.  You can throw it out.

Instead of destroying a vase or throwing stuff around your house, you can express yourself in your art.

4.  It gives you something meaningful to do.  I know when I get depressed (and I don’t mean to really focus on depression, but that’s what I know best) it can sometimes be difficult to find a reason to get out of bed even.  You might wonder why you’re here.  When you have something to do — make jewelry, paint, etc — you have a reason to get out of bed.  You have a reason why you’re here.

5.  It’s meditative and can help you work out things.  Working with your hands has been shown to be really meditative.  Maybe you knit, embroider, paint or do some other art form.  Obviously, I make jewelry.  While you’re using your hands you can work out all kinds of issues and problems in your head.


Difficult times can definitely be inspiration for creativity as well, not just in the moment, but after the fact.  You’ve heard songs about lost love and terrible situations.  Well, you can use those difficult times to create pieces as well.

I created this painting once with reds and deep purples.  I didn’t paint exactly what was bothering me.  I didn’t draw pictures of the demons.  But the feeling of that moment is captured.

You can do the same thing with jewelry as well.  You might use certain colors or certain shapes to express your feelings.

Either way – whether you use creativity to get through difficult times or are inspired by difficult times to create – use your difficult times in a way that’s more productive and useful.  It’s difficult when you’re in the actual rough spot to see it, but pick up your pliers or a pen and start creating and see if it helps.


This post is part of a countdown to the start of Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse, which starts on January 5th, 2015.  To learn more about the eCourse, click here.

Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry

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