This could be the best year for your Art. We all have been told we need to write down our New Years Resolutions. This never worked for me. It just wasn’t enough. In time I would just forget what I wrote down. Over the years I have tried different ways to improve my art…
I know for sure I can’t work harder than I am already am, so that is not an option for me.
I know that if I just drift along hoping my work will dramatically improve, well that has not worked either. Things, at least for me, just don’t magically manifest. There always is some measure of intention, some degree of effort behind the scenes to positive change.
The only thing that has helped me has not so much to do with the actual art making but, rather, design. This is a great alternative to driving yourself harder, as well as aimlessly drifting hoping your art will dramatically improve. I am not talking about designing your art work but rather, designing the very thing that creates your Art. Your Art Practice.
Depending upon your Art Practice’s vibrancy and sustainability will, in the end, be the primary factor in dramatically improving your art. Get this right and your Art will take huge strides this year. But what is right? And what is right for you? Of course it is personal, but spending some time now crafting the ideal art practice, what it looks like, how it integrates in your life will have huge payoffs this year.
The question you need to ask yourself is “What is the best situation, the best conditions for me to make Art?’
I am going to give you 5 of the conditions that I have integrated in to my art practice that have helped me significantly. These might not be yours but they might very well be helpful. All of these, in one form of another I learned from others…
[Tweet “If it feels slightly like a yawn, stop immediately — NW”]
1 Schedule your studio time every week.
Treat your art practice as important as self care, because actually it is. We all know when our art is going well how fantastic you feel? So schedule it in your week. See where you can place studio time during your week and then put it on the calendar. For me, my art making is so important that I try to fit the rest of my life around this fact. After all, I know that if I have a vibrant art practice in place I have a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm for the rest of my life.
2 Show up little but often.
Don’t worry about not having enough time to spend 5 hours making art every day or even one day. Most people can’t either, but that aside, don’t let this fact discourage you. Come in for 30 minutes if that is all you have. I always try and do something as it always keeps the conversation going in my mind about my Art. You will still learn something new every time you make art. Even for 20 minutes. And that will keep you coming back for more.
3 Control your environment while you create.
For whatever time you have in the studio, give it to yourself fully. Try to not answer the phone, send texts, visit the computer for solid chunks of time. Think of the art making time as a total break, a mini vacation- from everything. All the chatter of the world can actually stop if you choose to make it so. When you are fully present there is a high probability that the art you make will be more like you. Authenticity is a hallmark of great art and your art can never have enough.
4 Re dedicate to only making what you love.
Time is the one thing in my life that is always lessening. Because of this, my time is becoming more and more valuable. I always take the New Year to really make sure that whatever time I am spending in my studio, that it I am spending it making art that I truly want to make. If it feels slightly like a yawn, stop immediately. Letting go of what others think or expect, what might sell or not, what is familiar or not, will allow you to create more authentically again and set you on course to making Art like you never have before.
5 Allow more, not less, to come in.
In your life, gather anything that you see or find that resonates with you and bring that, in some form or another, into your studio. It could be a photo you have seen or a print from something online or just an object found. Whatever it is, just having it present when you are making will influence and possibly shift your current creation. Don’t feel you have to be like an assembly line and always make the same thing in the same way. Let it change and use whatever is directly around you to help create that change.
Inspiration comes from experiencing change and newness. And in turn, creativity naturally results from feeling inspired… which ultimately leads to making powerful art.
Paying attention this year to putting a joyful, inspiring process of art making in your life will allow your Art to take off. Create the conditions for you’re creative success.
And yes, this is the year. Game on.
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.