Working on smaller pieces just to play with the boxes of stashed materials accumulating in my studio, is one way of clearing the brain for bigger and better things to come. Putting to use paints not used for awhile, saved textured items, old pieces of mat board and an old, used canvas, I create my own play date with myself. It's freeing to know that it matters not what we create. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece... Just play!
We tend to forget what we have as artists, until we go pokin' around... especially a collage artist. We tend to save everything like pack rats. Then we think... Hmmm... A little of this, a little bit of that... This will work here... Ew! This color... nope, that will never do... Let's see, this will be good for that other piece I was thinking about doing... etc. The mind continues to roll, relax and wander at play.
When an artist is "into" one style, or must create in a certain genre because one is known for that style, it is a must to get away from it for a while and play. It keeps one fresh. Many times I will just spend the day drawing, writing, making earrings, creating smaller 'quick sell' mixed media pieces or boxes. Pretty much anything with paper and anything else laying around. The important thing is to keep doing. This piece is 8 x 10 mixed media and attached to an older previously used canvas.