When Creativity Runs Dry

This is a guest post on creativity by sculptor, Karen Schmidt. Karen is a skilled artist, a personal friend, an incredible sculptor and longtime friend of The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. Karen is one of those rare artists whose commitment to professional excellence flows out of a deep relationship with God. She is a woman of prayer, great depth and personal warmth. It’s my privilege to introduce you to her and her insightful thoughts on spiritual formation, creativity and the creative process.

[N]o matter how skilled an artist is, there are times when the source of creativity is dry. I know that during hectic seasons of life or demanding deadlines in the studio, the joy of creating art goes away and I struggle to find inspiration. The correlation between busyness and lack of creativity is no accident. Read on…


“The Holy Family” by Karen Schmidt
This is a powerful, must-watch video!

For artists, the source of inspiration comes from a place deep within the soul, and this place must be nurtured. If we don’t take time for rest, contemplation, prayer and beauty, we become spiritually empty.

Creativity isn’t a switch we can turn on or off. If you are facing a deadline or your life is crowded with commitments, you’ll be tempted (as I have been) to rush the creative process. But it cannot be rushed. Force yourself to slow down, retreat, and protect the time you’ve set aside to create art.

In addition to making rest a daily exercise, you may consider taking a retreat for some extended time of renewal and inspiration. A dear friend is co-leading a retreat designed for this very purpose, for artists and non-artists alike. “Praying with Imagination: Igniting a Prayerful Response” is being held next month at Saint John’s University in Minnesota. As far as retreats go, this looks like a gem and I hope you consider it!

Find out more about Karen Schmidt Sculpture by visiting her website: Karen Schmidt Sculpture

Questions: What does Karen say about the creative process that resonates with you? When you feel dry, what do you do to cultivate creativity in your life?

I’d love your comments and questions.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, snarky or off-topic.