Creative Burnout Update - Julie Brown Neu

Creative Burnout Update

cyanotype print of two maple leaves

In my last newsletter post, I wrote about the need to process the pandemic and for me, to address the impact that it had on my creativity. I was feeling guilty about even considering the impact of the pandemic on my life because I am someone with immense privilege for whom the pandemic was not the horror that it was for so many. Still, I was affected and by not admitting that, I was stuck. So I took a two-pronged approach. Following the advice of Emily Esfahani Smith who wrote the article that inspired my blog post, I spent 15 minutes each day for four days free writing about the pandemic and its impact on me. I also immersed myself in a new creative technique. I’ll be damned, but the combination of writing to process the pandemic while simultaneously learning something new totally worked. I am feeling more creative than I have in a year and a half and I am so relieved.

The workshop that I took that lit my creative spark again was Wet Cyanotypes with Lesley Riley at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops in Greenville, New York. My first creative love was film photography so working with cyanotype solution and exposing paper to light felt like coming home. Combining the process with fabric caused that tuning fork vibration in my soul that tells me I am onto something. Today, I have the fabric pieces hanging on my design wall and they have already started talking to me. Half of the pieces have plans and I can’t wait to get started.

dozen blue and white cyanotype prints of leaves and flowers on fabric, pinned to design wall

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the workshop, mostly on fabric, but one on paper and one that’s been digitally-enhanced:

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