With the World Art Day Celebrations having just past us by yesterday, I am hit with the realisation that even though people love to create art – they have a hard time actually sitting down and getting it done. As a creative professional, I often find myself being asked by people that how am I able to continuously focus on my art and have kept on building my art portfolio. I struggle to provide a simple answer to this, as the answer to this question is not just being passionate and creative. It takes so much more than that…
So, in the spirit of what World Art Day is all about, I am writing this blog to finally list down all the points that have helped me in maintaining my focus on creating art. Here it goes:
- Time, Place and Intention
Just like any other skill that you would like to improve on, building the habit of consistently creating art requires a dedicated intention, time and place. With intention, I want you to write down (ACTUALLY write down on paper) why you would like to work on your art everyday. You can list down all the benefits that you will experience by being consistent with your art, how being in the “flow” state of creativity makes you feel and what your possible goals are as an artist. It is all down to you. The most important bit is the intention setting.
Then, I want you dedicate a space and time in your life for art making. This could be your kitchen table during the afternoons or a rented art studio space that you use on a weekly basis. All you need to do is to assign a designated space and a specific time for this and stick to it – come rain or come shine. I would suggest to use this time and space on a daily basis for at least 2 months for 15 to 20 minutes to build yourself the habit for it.
- Treat yourself – Invest in your art supplies
There is nothing like cracking open a fresh box of paint tubes to get your creativity flowing! I know that if there is one thing that gets all the artists , amateur or professional, excited: it’s the feeling of having new art supplies waiting to be used. To get the ball rolling on this consistency piece, I would suggest going to your local art supply store and having a mini splurge – you can buy just the essentials initially. Trust me – with this mini financial and creative investment in, you will be compelled to start working on your art.
Once you’ve done, set some goals for yourself in regards to your artwork and treat yourself to new art supplies when you reach them. Examples of these goals can be setting a number of days that you will be working on your art without taking a break or creating two artworks in a month. For effective goal setting, make sure your goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. These SMART goals tied with your art supplies rewards will set the foundation for you to be consistent with creating art.
- Discipline is KEY, not passion
Before you embark on this habit building journey, I want you to keep one thing in mind: passion is what might get you started, but discipline is what will get you through to the end. We always think that in order to create art, we need to be in this all consuming creative state, where we are overcome with our own creativity and furiously painting and drawing. These moments do happen, however they happen once in a while. However, in order for these moments to take place, you need to build the discipline of working on your art everyday. You need to show up everyday for your art because that’s almost half of the job and when you do that, your creativity will have no choice but to flow.
- Pay your favourite artists a revisit
We all have artists whose work made us reconsider what we wanted to do with our lives. The work of these artists influenced our minds and inspired us to tread away from the path of mediocrity to create something that inspired a future generation of artists. Go back to the body of work that these artists produced for that boost of inspiration. Better yet, try watching interviews or reading the biographies of your favourite artists to get a perspective
on the creative challenges that they faced and how they overcame them. This will give you invaluable insight into their creative process, that you can use in refining your own.
There you have it! These are some pointers that I would advise you to try out, if you want to build the consistent habit of working on your art. Regardless of how uninspired we are, artists should never stop creating because it was Picasso who wisely said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” With that, I hope that we never put our brushes down, so we stay inspired and eventually become inspiring ourselves.
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