Thanks Andrew for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I think writing these down helps remind myself of what is really worth spending my time and energy on in a culture that is often filled with so many distractions and conflicting priorities. I hope you found it helpful for you as well.
Excellent, well-written piece! Bravo!
Wow! You hit the nail right on the head. I agree with so much of what you’re saying. It’s what I’ve been saying to myself for awhile now in some form or another but somehow it doesn’t’ always seem to sink in. Thank you!
Thanks Dawn! I think you’re right that all of us (including myself) need to occasionally remind ourselves that creating art is at some level supposed to be enjoyable. It seems way too easy these days, with everything we are told we should be doing, to get overwhelmed and end up focusing on what we didn’t do instead of what we did accomplish that day. Thanks again Dawn for the kind and thoughtful comment :)
I struggle with balancing it all: I’m devoted to my blog and regularly comment, plus I still work as a teacher, and I need time to create. The wonderful thing about creating that creative life, though, is it’s a constant series of tweaks and remaining true to yourself. Awesome, awesome post!
I think it’s all that sleeping at night that is putting you behind schedule Cyndi ;)
You’re absolutely right, it is hard to balance it all. Finding the time to create, connect, comment, and still have time to do everything that we need to do is almost impossible most days. All we can do is try to focus on the most important things and not get too distracted along the way — which is far easier said than done!
Thank you for these reminders~~
I’ve found that the power of connection to other people is too often underestimated in the arts, especially in the writing world. I’m currently working as a developmental editor for a friend’s novel, and I’ve found that the more I talk to him about writing, the more I want to do it myself. There is so much to be learned from other artists — and the energy that I get from those connections is invaluable.
Thanks and you’re right that sometimes we focus so much on creating our own work that we forget to spend the time to connect with other writers and artists. I think we do tend underestimate the value of connecting and collaborating with others. I know that for me personally, just the energy, encouragement, ideas, and enthusiasm I usually get from talking with other artists is well worth the effort.
Now go get writing! :P
I would like to thank you very much for all these very useful and inspiring posts.
I was going through an Art block and it stopped me from creating anything for months,
that was one of the worst feelings, doubting art and doubting myself too.
Then I came across your blog sometime ago and have since started following it.
SkinnyArtist has helped me so much throughout the period, gave me motivations and great tips.
I have now come back to love making art again.
Thank you so much!
Thank you Darius for taking the time to let me know that you found it helpful. I really appreciate it :)
Wonderful post. Thank you. I decided a few years ago to give up trying to do well and instead to just do art anyway – I told my self worst case scenario I make a lot of bad art but at least I’ll be doing it. Then a strange thing happened. The moment I removed the pressure the work began to flow and even weirder many aims that had seemed out of reach just happened. I now advise others to just ‘do it badly’ and ignore those notions of is it ‘good enough’. It’s surprising where that takes us.
You’re absolutely right Camilla, there’s something about creativity that begins to shut down the moment you start expecting things from it. Pressure and stress (while perhaps good for productivity) are often poison to the creative mind. Creativity is all about opening up and making those types of free associations that are completely unexpected. On the other hand, when we are feeling pressured to create something “good” we often narrow our focus and end up falling back on what has worked for us in the past.
By the way, I think “Do it Badly” would make an awesome t-shirt slogan for any aspiring artist!
I’m going to do your tip of just “give up trying to do well and just do art anyway”…
Sounds like the right attitude to have.
Thank you so much for your great article. I feel i’m so lucky faving found this website. There are a lot of things in this article telling me, reassuring that I’m on a right track and it is ok to be jealous sometimes. It is so inspiring and encouraging me to keep going. Thank you, really.
This blog always makes me cry. In the “heart opening back up” good kind of way. Thanks for reminding me of what was missing…again :)
Very insightful and well put. Just the encouragement I need to put my of my artist works out. Thank you. :D
good words of advice.thank xou
Thanks for that. It is too easy to be swayed by the itty-bitty-shitty-committee in my head
Haha well said 8lackie!!
Love the name you gave the inner critic!
Thank you so much for posting this – love it!
This is what people should live, no matter what they do. THANKS for the words! (:
amazing advice, I have made some notes and will be adding them to my ‘things to do every day’ list!
Thank you for all that motivation!
Here’s another one. It’s in every comment here and it’s sweet & simple: Thank you. Saying it out loud, writing it down, expressing it in space somehow…every day. It sure makes me feel good to remember that I am in community–even when the tire’s flat or words get stuck.
Very true, well written, inspirational.
Thanks for this great article!
Thank you Drew! Thank you for putting yourself out there for us, and giving us support to be the creative souls we are.
Thank you Drew this is very timely for me as I often get overwhelmed by the big picture (pardon the pun!) and never feel I have enough time in my day – I’m going to adopt your timer idea – cheers N.
Thanks so much Niamh for your kind words, and yes you’re right, it is unfortunately way too easy to get overwhelmed by all of the little details and lose sight of the big picture in the process. Good luck with the timer suggestion, I hope it helps :)
Very thought provoking – I particularly liked the reminder of number 4, as I have the bad habit of forgetting to get involved with everyone else! Thank you for the all too important reminder, and for the encouragement to keep posting and sharing what I’ve been creating. A great blog post which I am going to share with friends and followers!
I kind of remember happy…sometimes I struggle with defining what it is I truly enjoy. For a long time now I’ve been writing on and off, and I always thought that this was something I was “meant” to do (whatever that means). However, especially in the past year or so, I’ve become disenchanted with some aspect of the process: I question my motives for writing. Do I/did I want to start writing in order to live some sort of romanticized version of an author’s life or am I someone in which stories reside that are waiting to be told in an entertaining and valuable fashion? Stories that mean as much to others as other stories/films/pieces of art have meant to me. I continually struggle with self-consciousness and self-criticism as well. Introspection gone rogue. Strands of thoughts knotted up with one another. I can blame my issues of anxiety and depression at times, but I truly feel mired by it all. I’m glad there are resources such as this to help folks like myself.
Everything I have thought about myself in the last few months are in this article. Thank you for making me
‘think’. I paint and create and put it in a closet not wanting to give anyone a chance to see or feel what I have created. Partially because it is ‘mine’. I have never thought about sharing and letting it go and just move on to my next creative moment. So now I ‘think’ and maybe learn how to be a ‘Happy Artists” complete with sharing that very private part of my soul that creates……………..thank you.
Thank you so much for this lovely article! I have been trying to figure out whether I should pursue art and make it a part time career or whether I should just let it go and forget it. Art has been a pert of who I am since I can remember but because of the busy lives we life, I think a lot of people forget how important it is to keep on feeding your inner artist because if you do not then you will lose that hunger for it. I will keep this article in my diary and read it again when ever I need some inspiration! Now, let me go and draw :)
Thought I’d start by following your advice and leaving a comment! I read through a few articles on your awesome website, and they are really valuable pieces- I have not come across many websites with this vibe and info :) I have learned some of this advice on my own, and it’s wonderful to be able to reaffirm and also learn new bits o’ wisdom……thanks!
Love the article– very helpful!
[…] Whether we do this by reading the works of others, attending performances, or connecting with other creative artists online — we need to find the time to escape our comfort zone and restock our creative well. […]
Great article! I do a lot of “art thinking” while riding my bike! It’s amazing what you can figure out. I do mosaic 2-d and show my work locally like you suggest and get juried. FUN! THANKS FOR SUCH A DOWN-TO-EARTH ARTICLE.
Thanks Elizabeth for your kind words and you’re right, we sometimes forget how much “art thinking” we can do outside of the studio.
Thankyou for those tips..as I sit here sniffling and wiping the tears of discouragement away, thankyou for sharing a glimmer of hope for a struggling, ‘new’ artist.
“When you sit down daily to practice your art, you are reminding yourself of its importance in your life.” Seems so elemental…but so challenging to honor that vitality. So many great reminders in this post — and loved the quote by Julia Cameron. Thank you, Drew.
Thank you Naila, and I think you’re right that sometimes we get so wrapped up in our results, that we forget why we were creating our art in the first place. It’s something I often need to remind myself of when I get caught up in the “success” or “failure” of a particular work.
Thanks, Drew! Great article. I was especially touched by the reminder to take the time to appreciate and encourage other artists. I am going to start with encouraging you 😄
I have been following your posts, and will continue to do so. Please keep writing! Best, Nancy
Thank you so much Nancy for the kind words and encouragement. I really appreciate it :)
As a visual artist, the written word is not my strong suit but I appreciate your clear thoughtful list. The imporance of sharing your work is one that seems like “another job” at times but it very important for continuing to work.
I just came back from a month residency and having such a focused time is reminder how many daily things can take over and push the creative work to the side.
Thanks this article has really opened my eyes.
Thanks for letting me know that you found it useful. I really appreciate it!
This was a thoughtful, thought-provoking and very helpful article. I found myself agreeing from early on, and then measuring myself so to speak : ” Do I do that?” Mostly, but not enough of giving feed back to others. Thanks for a stimulating read, and I will be subscribing and back for more.