At our local college, I began each 10-week beginning beading class by explaining my teaching philosophy: that my intention is to provide clear instruction and ample practice in the foundational techniques, but that I do not teach cookbook-style "projects". I do not expect nor would I feel good about everyone walking out of class with a piece, exact in color and design - in fact I would feel mortified! I believe the learning of technique and creative expression can be facilitated at the same time; I know also that getting the flow of creativity moving can feel mighty uncomfortable at first. Only half-jokingly, I tell my students that I'm fine with that.
When starting a project, it is ok to feel like you don't know what to pick, how to move forward, what your end product will look like. In fact, when shifting from a prescribed way of doing anything to an innovative path, the often uncomfortable place of unknowing is essential. This discomfort is the doorway to problem solving, innovation, personal vision, and invention; it is the place where creativity lives.
All this talk about discomfort and why it's beneficial is well and good, but creating art of any type requires actually doing something, doesn't it? So, how do you step out of the frozen feeling of not being able to start? How can you get out of your head and into the creative flow?
Here's a quick exercise I teach my students for choosing beading materials when the mind feels confused about what to pick. This method of assessment is taken from my work in the healing arts, and is used for "seeing" with the inner eye and tapping into intuition. You can adapt this method for any artistic endeavor.