There is a major theme happening in the majority articles and podcasts regarding creativity that I have found: develop healthy habits. And I don’t mean eating a bunch of vegetables everyday (although that is also something which can benefit your overall well being). What I am talking about is developing healthy habits that minimize the never-ending scrolling through social media, tv watching, or Netflix-ing or whatever is keeping you from achieving your goals (by the way, I am guilty of everything that I just listed – eep!).
Even though I have read and watched a lot of articles and YouTube videos discussing good habits and how to maintain them, I still had trouble sticking to them until I read How I Became a Morning Person, Read More Books, and Learned a Language in a Year . For months I have been trying to create good habits so I can break away from the black hole that is social media… and Netflix… and whatever else. This article breaks down how to really establish a habit and stick to it. The main take away from the article is that if you do something everyday for five or ten minutes (a small start), then you will likely develop a good habit. Further, if you associate the habit with a positive reward, then the chances of sticking to the habit are higher.
Even though I just read the article last week, I really wanted to share it with everybody because it is extremely valuable information and, imho, super helpful. Currently, I am working on learning Spanish, something that I have promised myself for years to do. But the prospect of learning a new language seemed so overwhelming… until I read the article (the article also recommends a couple of language learning apps). So far, I have practiced my Spanish everyday for a week, which is way more practice than I’ve had in more than a few years.
What are you waiting for?! Create and maintain a good habit that will get you closer to your goals and dreams by doing a little everyday so you can achieve more every year.
Today’s blog post is dedicated to just getting started. One of my many finds regarding the creative process is the podcast How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black. Overall, it is just a really great podcast and I always thought Black to be hilarious from when I first saw him on The State. Black interviews actors, political activists, authors, playwrights etc. to have an in-depth, meaningful conversation about the creative process.
Recently, I listened to the Kevin Smith interview and it was such a goldmine of information regarding how he went from an aspiring SNL writer to a filmmaker. This episode resonated with me because it was such an intimate insight of how one tiny act of working toward a goal can lead to something you never could predict. If you don’t mind some profanity, then I urge you to have a listen.
No matter what season you are in with your creative pursuits, it is important to just start!
Originally, I started this blog as a place to hold myself accountable for making a piece of art everyday or at least work on an art project everyday. Turns out blogging isn’t really ideal for that… at least for me.
What I really wanted to get out of this blog was not only getting back in the habit of creating again, but also, to find my artistic style. My creative path has been filled with a lot of stops and starts because of work or school or life or whatever.
The good news is that making art has become a consistent habit that I love and over the course of my blogging absence, I made quite a few pieces. The bad news is that I am still struggling to find my style. And it’s super frustrating! I feel like no matter how much I work – even when I was creating consistently many years ago – I can’t seem to find my… “Laura-ness”.
Throughout my blogging hibernation period I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts on entrepreneurship and creativity and self-help topics in order to gain insight into this very subject. What a lot of people say on this topic is to keep working and to keep “showing up” and put in the work. Which is great and I get that, but what I’m interested in is the process; that space in-between from making stuff to making stuff that has a voice.
So for now, I want to share some of the podcasts and blogs and other interesting tidbits I have found that speak to this very subject.
Happy making and I hope this helps you in your creative journey as well!
Last week was terrible because of a terrible allergy attack. I’m feeling mostly normal now, except that I seem to be permanently stuffed up. On the bright side, before this allergic reaction to the Oregon air occurred, I went to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm for the tulip festival. It was fantastic! Taking a break from my studio time to see these bright and richly saturated colors with a backdrop of Mt. Hood was completely welcome and needed for this artist soul of mine.
These past few months I’ve been happily tied up with participating in the #creativeUNblock projects with the Jealous Curator (she’s just fabulous). It’s actually been quite liberating for so many reasons. A huge hurdle I have overcome in doing these projects (specifically with January’s unblock project) is making mistakes. It used to be I would make a mistake and I wasn’t happy with the outcome of what I made. I wouldn’t finish the piece I started and make an excuse for not working on it like, “oh, I just need to stop over working it… I’ll just finish it later”. Then I would stash the unfinished work with the others that have collected a year’s worth of dust. Afterward, I would shut down all my creative outlets for a very long while. It was like I was punishing myself for making something with which I was not satisfied by not making anything else for months on end and sometimes years. Pretty silly, right?! Having the expectation that ev-er-y-thing I create comes out to my mind’s exacting specifications, even when my mind doesn’t know exactly know what it wants sometimes, is crazy. In other words, the expectation of achieving perfection each and every time I pick up a paintbrush or pencil is absolutely ludicrous. And every time I didn’t create that level of “perfection” for which I planned was disappointing. I felt crushed and often thought, “who am I to even think to pick up a paintbrush?!”
But with these projects it’s becoming easier to make something
completely terrible not pleasing to my eye and then moving on to make something that genuinely surprises and excites me. Now, I am frequently pumped up to start the next project all the while maintaining my enthusiasm to finish a work that I already started.
Allowing yourself to make mistakes is part of it. It’s a part of the process. Making mistakes is about growing and finding your creative voice to distinguish yourself through whatever medium you choose. It can be painful sometimes, but at the heart of it, the work is for you. YOU choose who can see your mess ups, if you want anybody to see them at all. Or you can choose to proudly hang up your awkward phase works and celebrate them as part of your creative history. Whatever. The choice is yours because the work ultimately comes from the depths of your imagination and squishy feeling parts that are intimate and personal, which is why going through these phases can be difficult. Just because something you envisioned didn’t come out the way you wanted doesn’t mean you should stop creating, it just means you need to keep creating.
Happy making, everybody!
I finally moved forward in time to March for the #creativeUNblock project. Even though I still feel like I have about a million thirty seven ideas for January’s project, I am embracing March… and actually it’s a lot of fun!
This month’s #creativeUNblock assignment was to paint paper, cut it up and make a collage. Here’s what I came up with so far:
Untitled – Uno, watercolor collage, 6″x8″
Untitled – Dos, watercolor collage, 6″x8″
Since I’ve been loving this project so much, I’m pretty sure it’ll keep making an appearance in the upcoming months 😉
Just sharing a some more Dianas that I’ve been working on for January’s #creativeUNblock project.
Shattered, mixed media, 6″x8″
Colonialism, mixed media, 6″x8″
And last one:
Floating, mixed media, 9″x12″