For three months this sunset painting sat unfinished. I couldn’t motivate to pick it up and work on it, until now. What changed?
For one thing, with the holidays behind us and a new fresh year ahead, I recommitted to creativity. My goal is to sit and paint every morning for at least 15 minutes. So far this year, I’ve done just that plus a few days at the end of 2020.
When I sit down to paint I usually have no plan. Sometimes I start by organizing my art supplies. That’s when I uncovered this painting (but immediately set it aside). I often start by playing in my sketchbook. There is no pressure with a sketchbook. I feel free to explore. As I paint, ideas come to me.
It’s so interesting how you can go from no idea…to painting bananas…to “It’s time to finish that sunset.” It just proves how important it is to regularly sit down to paint, to show up every day.
There are days that nothing exciting happens on the page, but that’s part of the creative process too. No matter what the results, time spent being creativity clears my mind.
I encourage you to paint, draw (or whatever) for 15 minutes each day. You never know what it will lead to!
I’ve been thinking I need a creative project to help motivate me during self quarantine, especially since things don’t seem to be opening up any time soon. If this is going to continue – for 2 weeks, a month, more? – it would be nice to have something to do, practice a skill, and work towards a goal or final product.
It’s a challenge to pick a project. I definitely have ideas, but it’s like standing at a fork in the road and not knowing which direction to take. Here’s how to pick a creative project:
Step 1. Write down all the ideas that have been floating around your head.
Step 2. Evaluate the ideas. Which items are things you really want to work on? Which project would yield results you’d be especially excited about? Which project could you see yourself being excited about every day?
Here’s my list so far:
Drawing Lesson – Continue developing my online drawing lesson.
iPad drawing – practice
Color Wheel Book – Continue working on – illustrate
Clay – Learn polymer clay and create sea creatures (as an example for in person art camp project).
Watercolor – work on a specific subject or in specific colors
Video – Create another video promo.
My list is often filled with things I think I should do or would like the final results of, but not things I feel like working on EVERY DAY.
Having trouble picking one idea? Sometimes we don’t know until we try. Spend a day sampling the project ideas you are most interested in. Spend 15-20 minutes on each project. Which one sparks the most interest and excitement?
Step 3. Pick a project. Make a decision and stick with it.
Step 4. Plan your creative time. Pick the time (and place) that you will work on this project. It’s easier to remember and make it happen if it’s every day at the same time. Things don’t happen if you don’t plan for them to happen.
Step 5. Follow through! Every project has peaks and valleys. Push through the hard days, do the work and the results will follow. Even 15 minutes a day adds up and is progress!
This is the best feeling. It’s creative excitement. I’ve spent a little bit of time organizing my supplies, and now I’m sitting in front of a new creative project – a watercolor painting. I’ve done some prep work – I have my reference photo picked out, I’ve taped down my watercolor paper, I’ve measured and taped the horizon line, and I have a plan – I’m going to start with the figures.
There is so much hope and excitement at the beginning of a project. Sometimes a little nervousness too. I’m working larger than I normally do, and adding figures is fairly new too. I think it’s good to push ourselves, to expand our capabilities.
Later will come some struggle. It’s expected and if it was easy, it would be boring. I used to give up when a project got hard, but I’ve learned to push through – it’s extremely satisfying. I may not overcome the struggles perfectly but there’s always a lesson learned for next time.
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I was working in my sketchbook today, without any real plan, just thinking of the beach. It occurred to me that you can try to have a detailed plan but in the end you have to just start, do the work, and see what unfolds. I thought this was an epiphany for me until I thought about my creative resolution.
I started late Dec. 2013, with no real plan other than being creative on a regular basis. I thought I might end up refinishing furniture! Instead, after trying a few things, I ended up working steadily in watercolor.
Today’s “ephinany” felt like a big deal because, for awhile, I’ve wanted to work on a bigger project. Something that would tie things together. Instead of feeling like I work on individual pieces.
I have a theme. I have inspiration projects (by other artists). I have ideas, but I don’t 100% know what the style and form of the project will be, and it frustrates me. Doodling in my sketchbook today I realized I need to dive in and start. I’ll never know what the final product will be, until I work through it. Just like my creative resolution, it will be a journey of experimenting, working, and evolving.