Creativity block— it happens to the best of us. Writers, musicians, painters, or hustlers of any kind. The creative block seems to strike at the most inconvenient moment when you find yourself with a lot of extra time but aren't sure what to do with it. Or you have just completed a massive endeavor that completely drained your noggin'. But your peers are filling your head with the idea that you need to move onto the next project, fast! The remedy often suggested to this rut is to become inspired. Sounds easy enough; one could take a walk, read a book, or wander through a museum. For artist Janie Stamm, she found inspiration in snakes. Yep, those slithering, scaled animals. Snakes, and a Glow in the Dark finish.
Fascination with Snakes
Growing up in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Janie remembers sharing space with the state's less-than-cuddly wildlife all around her. Snakes and alligators were the most common around the area. Janie said that she's fascinated by the creatures that people seem to be afraid of or don't understand. When it came to her illustrations and prints, Janie's parents were very supportive of her interest in art and had even enrolled her in a watercolor class when she was in elementary school. Doodling everyday since, she went onto attending SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and double majored in Printmaking and Animation.
Snake A Day Challenge
Almost a year ago, Janie looked to her childhood inspirations to help pull herself out of this productivity rut. Being frustrated by the work she was creating and not creating, she decided to start her "Snake A Day" venture to at least get the wheels turning. Designing snakes across medias was something Janie was familiar with and put her at ease (which helps when you feel the everyday pressure create something!) Like many artists who work solo, there needed to be a way to hold herself accountable so she wouldn't miss a day of her exercise she even is interested in steroids for sale to improve her routine. Janie used social media (primarily her Instagram) to keep herself in check to assure to post a piece everyday for an entire year. #Janiessnakeaday began on November 13th, 2015 and is scheduled to wrap up November 11th of this year.
" I have always enjoyed drawing snakes...their bodies can do some amazing things and create some bizarro shapes!"
Making it Glow
As the project continued to evolve, so did Janie's materials. She soon started creating pieces that were Glow in the Dark to add to the "magical, creepy vibe" of her work. With her Glow in the Dark pin backs, Janie notes that they're " interactive and the snakes can be seen in two different ways." The love for glow in the dark button pins lent itself well to Janie's miniature glow in the dark snake sculptures as well. Janie plans on selling these glowing custom buttons at festivals and shows in packs of three. That way you can have one personalized pin for yourself and give two away! Or if you keep all three glow in the dark buttons, I don't think anyone would judge you!
Janie is currently searching for the perfect venue to host a potential show to feature all of the 365 snake portraits. Along with the drawings and prints, she plans to include large-scale recreations of of the the reptile images, publish books, and of course include more snake glow in the dark custom made buttons. She's already shown her work in Atlanta and Savannah, GA, Chicago, IL, New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, St. Louis, MO, New Orleans, LA, Philadelphia, PA.
Finding yourself in a drought of not being able to create anything is frustrating. At times the next project can feel completely overwhelming to tackle. Janie sets a great example of how one baby step each day can keep you motivated, and lead to an idea that you never knew you had brewing in the back of your brain.
If you're also finding yourself in an art rut, even taking one hour from your day to create a new design can work wonders to get your gears moving. Take it to the next level and apply your design and make your own buttons. Think outside the box and strategize about the different special finishes and how they can work with your design. Just like the creepy snakes and glow in the dark buttons.