I absolutely love this quote... In order to do what I do for my work, I have to maintain my creativity and the only way to do that is to 'Be mindful of your mind even if your mind is full"... ( Just needed to repeat it here because it is so important). In other words, take care of yourself and make time for what calms and makes you pause, even though there is too much on your plate to gobble up another bite.... You have to do this in order to declutter your mind so that the creative can flow.
I love that I am a working artist and have had a really terrific career. But even loving what you do doesn't mean you don’t get overwhelmed, overworked, and burned out. It especially means that YOU ARE GOING TO GET OVERWHELMED, OVERWORKED, AND DEFINITELY BURNED OUT at times...That is why you have to protect a little piece of the day just to shut it all out and let new ideas pour out.
There are times I want to bury myself under the covers and not come out until the busy uninspiring chaos goes away. That is why it is important to take a few minutes each day to do something creative. Even if you don't think you have a creative bone in your body or the extra time to spare... YOU DO!!!!! But there is a simple truth that I have learned….. We were all born with an overwhelming need to express ourselves and art encompasses so many different forms and skill sets that there is something for everyone on every level. The myth that you must have been ‘born with the 'creative gene’ or have a lot of talent is simply that…. a big fat myth!!! That discourages me as well.
Most people I know grew up thinking that you have to be born with a paint brush and a beret on the streets of Paris creating oil paintings or carving sculptures out of Italian marble for it to be considered art. HEAR ME NOW!!! That is so far from the truth.. Whatever creative endeavor you decide to do is art and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING… JUST DO IT!!! That being said; let me tell you now how setting time aside each day for creating art changes your life…
I was in a major life funk, I didn’t feel creative or inspired, let alone possess any talent (art and the creating of it is my passion). Melissa urged me to participate in these daily drawing and lettering challenges on Instagram with other artist, non-artist and creatives.. I really was unsure I wanted to commit to one sketch a day, let alone thirty days in a month, but after about three months of her participation and her telling me how great it was I was willing to give it a try.
I was nervous and a bit reluctant to give up my time to this sort of time commitment but I did it anyway… She even bought me my first Mole Skin Journal to do my sketches in (because that’s just what we do and of course with that, I couldn’t not do it). I think I missed the first few prompts of the first month but on the fourth day I sat with my pencils and started sketching only in pencil… Something happened to me.. I started sketching and couldn’t stop… Some kind of happy hormone was released in my brain and this became my new passion. I had to do this every day. There is something about setting time for yourself, where you just block everything out for just a little bit without feeling the guilt that comes along with “you should be doing work” or “the millionth load of laundry” or “changing the dang cat box”.
I was perfecting my old skills and learning new ones from others with the same goals in mind- practice makes perfect and perfect doesn’t have to be perfect. If you read any of these words that are falling on this blog post right now, know that it DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT… TO BE PERFECT!!!
I can’t recommend these challenges enough. Each month I did something different and for those thirty days, I did only that technique. It has changed how I look at my art and my approach to new styles and how I view other's skills as well.
Now to the reason every one needs to be creating some sort of artistic expression each day:
- Art stimulates your brain as I mentioned before and anybody can do it!!!!
- Creating art relieves stress… I am telling you the truth, my blood pressure dropped and I am so much more calm and relaxed. I approach my days better. I can’t wait till it’s my time to sketch.
- Creating art gives your brain a much needed break from the million thoughts that you think each day… We need to reboot everyday and this is a fantastic way to rewire our brain to do just that.
- Creating Art everyday also trains you to concentrate and build new skills that are essential to a much more fulfilling life experience. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Painting (substitute whatever artistic expression here) embraces all the ten functions of the eye: that is to say darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest.” So, when you create you are sharpening your attention to details and your surroundings… You won’t look at the sky the same way. You will be amazed at how you will see and interpret things differently.
- By creating art, you will broaden your ability to critically think, problem solve, communicate, collaborate, risk take, enhance your imagination and create self direction. Seriously, I know in school we all wondered where the heck we were gonna use all that ridiculous math.. TRUTH!!! But I can guarantee that once you start creating art, your capacity for creative thinking in every area of your life will grow to the zillionth power (see whatI just did there I just used that useless math… who knew?!?!).
- Art boosts your self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment…. I love seeing my completed sketches or watercolors each time I am finished. It makes me want to pat myself on the back and say “Good Girl, you didn’t crawl in the bed and pull the covers over your tired head today… You took time for you and honored the commitment you made to yourself”.
- Creating art increases new brain connections between cells… I know it releases those feel good hormones I told you about earlier. It is proven to reduce depression. (And on that note… please get some of those coloring books for the elderly loves in your life… This has proven to ward off depression and keeps the brain sharp.)No matter what you decide to do whether or not it is painting, drawing, sculpting, crafting, photography, or buying the newest BEST THING EVER.... THE COLORING BOOKS FOR GROWNUPS!!!! Isn’t it cool that adults can be seen with their coloring pencils and books just doodling away like we did when we were children…I freakin LOVE IT!!! AND IT IS ART!
These are just some of the great benefits of getting your creative on. Don’t let it intimidate you. Start with anything, just make the commitment to yourself to allot a small block of time every day to practice a skill you already have or learn a new skill that you have always wanted to learn.
I know that for me, if don’t set this time aside I am not good at being a mom, friend, girl boss, or even a productive member of society.
I lose my spark and everything suffers for it. Look on Instagram like I did if you want to join some challenge groups. Get on there and see what Melissa and I are up to… We are always participating in some sort of drawing or lettering challenge. You meet the most wonderful friends all over the world who are collectively grooving to the same tune you are, just all at different beats. Their support and encouragement is invaluable. And we treasure the differences each of us bring to the table. Go to Creative Bug and join in on some of their classes with some of the most talented artist and crafters around.. GO GRAB your thirty minutes and Get creative.