During those inevitable periods of time when the demons are howling (or even whispering, which is even more annoying), trying to convince you that your work is no good, your talent is gone and your creative well has run dry, I suggest the following tried-and-true techniques:
* Avoid going to your creative space. Whether it is a separate studio, a table or just a wee corner of your house, by all means ~ stay away. Check your email 500 times, write inane blog entries, surf the web, organize your paper clips.
* Should you be bold enough to show up anyway, your job is simple: Stand in front of your easel, canvas, blank piece of paper or other project-in-the-works, and stare at it. Every once in a while it is OK to look up at the sky in exasperation ~ go ahead and throw in a heavy sigh for good measure ~ but the main point of this exercise is just to stand. And stare.
* Update all of your iPhone apps, and then...
* Spend the majority of whatever precious remaining time you have at your creative space taking a nap.
* For the artists: Add a new layer of paint to a panel for no particular reason. Do this to every unfinished piece you have.
* Go ahead and finish that bag of tortilla chips. You know you want to.
* Sweep the floor.
* Take your friend's suggestion, and paint a yellow elephant.
Repeat as necessary.
And that's ~ one to grow on.