While being interviewed by Lee Anne White about my personal artist practice she expressed interest in a previous project of mine, in which I created an artwork every week for an entire year. It has been a few years since the culmination of that project and so some of its promise and results from those efforts had faded into my past, especially as I took a new job of assistant principal. Art had never been far from my mind, but my creative process seemed something far and distant. The interview with her reminded me of just how good I am at setting goals for myself and achieving them. I could remember the distinct pleasure I felt each week as I finished an artwork and then photographed it to share via social media. It was invigorating and a prolific time period for me. While not every work is something I’m proud of, I’m proud of the overall project and its completion. I DID IT. Not only did I complete the project, I made some art I would have never made otherwise. And some of it was damn good.
So now my life is in a new space. I have no full time job outside of my own art. I have a studio. I live in a new country. The interview reminded me of my past and how I have creative practices in my past I can harness for my present. I’ve been brainstorming ideas and strategies for people to use to get out of a creative rut. While the lightbulbs went off in my head I reviewed the list and noted one that just stuck in my head and would NOT let go. So, when it finally occurred to me I needed a daily practice to start my new routine and professional life (funny since I’m always suggesting it to you all!), it all clicked. At the time of writing this post, I’ve been doing it for about a month. One month does not yet make a habit, but it is a daily practice. I am one determined woman. In one week I’d already seeing my confidence return. I see more than ever why The Artist’s Way practice of daily pages seems to work so well for writers. I’m curious how many visual artists use the daily pages for their daily art habit?
A regular practice of your creative interests is important to your work. Not only will it help reduce chances of creative block as it has for me, it can be skill building, and help clear your head so that when it’s time to focus on a particular project you are warmed up for it and have the mental clarity to dig your heels into it. The project I have committed to this year is do to contour drawings of major artworks by assorted artists. There is also a participatory element so I don’t think too hard about it, people can choose the artworks I draw. This is an exercise. I’m not the creator of any of these artworks, but practicing drawing from them does help my own skill and artist development. Studying different artists’ mark making as well as considering their compositions can all inform my own practice when I’m developing original ideas.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: What can you do as a regular practice for your creativity? How can dancers, writers, photographers, commit to a regular practice?