As a lifelong creative, I’ve dabbled here and there with many mediums, but struggled to build consistency in my art practice for YEARS. In 2018 I started to build a daily creative practice, something sustainable and simple, knowing that every time I make room to create, my heart, brain, and soul are a little lighter. A little happier. A little more me.
I borrowed an approach from the book An Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In her book, she teaches the value of morning pages: three handwritten pages first thing in the morning as a way to unleash your creativity, unload your mind, and jumpstart your daily writing practice. I applied this same methodology to my artist pages, taking 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning to create. No rules, no expectations. Just some time spent with a few simple tools and a 5″ x 7″ card stock to embellish however you like. I started this just to play around and make art, but I’m amazed at the unexpected lessons I’m learning along the way.
Treating my art like a game reduces the fear and pressure of being perfect, which helps me adjust to practice and have some fun.
My skills have improved.
I started this practice for mental rest, never thinking of myself as an artist. When I look back at the work I’ve done recently compared to when I started, I can see a huge improvement in my skills. I’m still a long way from calling myself an artist, but forcing myself to practice daily has improved my work in ways I didn’t expect.
As my skills have improved, so has my curiosity to learn. I have recently started taking workshops both online and in real life to help me refine and hone my craft. Being exposed to new ways of creating has made me more vulnerable and more excited at the same time! I look forward to learning much more and experimenting in the coming year.
A confidence boost.
Surprisingly, I found that creating a space to try new things freed me up to take risks in my art that I previously avoided. Daily practice breaks down the barrier of making art, taking it from precious to playful, and has opened me up to try new mediums, techniques, and applications. Treating my art like a game reduces the fear and pressure of being perfect, which helps me adjust to practice and have some fun. Approaching art as a game and trying new things has seeped into other aspects of my life as well; I take more risks and expose myself in a way that I never would have thought. I have to think that taking a few moments to connect with myself and create on a daily basis plays a big part in that.
Bad art is still good.
When I started this project, I felt like I was wasting my time if I did something I wasn’t proud of. Now, I fail more than I succeed because these morning times are not about work. I rarely do something that I like the first time, but I have learned to accept that I do it for the process, and the joy and calm it brings to my day. If art is good or bad? That’s not the point. The process is to the point and keeps me coming back day after day.
The JOY of the game.
I am a lover of color and patterns and have always designed my home and wardrobe with creative combinations. These days, my favorite part of my creative work is choosing the color palette and playing with interesting combinations. Some work and some don’t, but then again, as I do every day, I’m more and more into taking chances and trying new things to see what brings joy.