Research, research, research. The Internet is chock full of amazing resources to help you be your best artist. I have a question for you, though. Hi. My name is Carrie, and today on Artist Strong, I want to ask you, “Do you want to consume or do you want to create?”

When I started Artist Strong, I always felt behind. (I sometimes still do).

There were so many things to do to make Artist Strong a reality, and so many questions to answer. Should I form an LLC for my business? What kind of topics do I want to cover? Should I do video, which, by the way, was a heck no. Look at me now.

There are so many different ideas that you can look at and compare yourself to, especially when you compare yourself to people ahead of you. And that’s a hard thing to deal with. Then you always feel like you need to be researching and that there’s more homework to be done.

In fact, I’d spent hours on doing all of this research, and use that research to find these answers as an excuse to justify my lack of art making. Well, if I’m sharing this work today because I want to help everyone be an artist, don’t I need to make time and dedicate time to my own art?

At some point, and I have to admit, it’s only been somewhat recently, I realized that I have to stop doing the research, because guess what? There is no one right way. I need to just start acting and making art and making content to share with my community and the larger world. Because if I don’t nothing will ever happen.

The most productive and successful artists don’t agonize over which action to take, they just take action.

After they make these choices, they reflect on them, they learn from them, and then they decide what to do next. They don’t discuss the endless merits of one paintbrush brand over another, or they don’t spend hours and hours agonizing over which email provider is the best one to use. They make a choice, they act on it, they learn from it, and they reiterate. You make changes after you have experiences that give you knowledge to grow.

Recently, I’ve unsubscribed from a load of online business content. I was getting emails from all kinds of people. I love learning, so my inbox is prone to being filled with people giving me all kinds of resources and information, but I’ve made a new commitment to myself. I know I have all the tools available to succeed, with or without those emails, and so I’ve unsubscribed from most of them (though not all of them).

art resources, art lessons, art projects, art ideas, art education

It’s important to be a constant learner, so here’s my new commitment: I’m only allowed to consume while I’m making art. I’m going to say that one more time: I’m only allowed to consume if I am also making art.

I’ll admit that even though I haven’t been doing this for very long, I’ve seen a huge uptick in my productivity because I’m spending more time making art. It’s amazing how if you make a commitment to your art that it becomes a forefront activity, a priority, and some of the things you’ve been consuming you realize, well actually, maybe I haven’t been missing them all that much at all.

I encourage you today to reflect on this question. Do you want to consume or create? The other question tied to this is, is your use of time reflective of the goals that you have for your art? Food for thought today.

Be Creatively Courageous: In the comments below this video, tell me one action that you can take today to get you creating rather than consuming. I look forward to starting that conversation with you, and thank you guys for watching.

If you want help getting focused on creating, I’ve created a 10-day challenge: It’s 10 days to creating a unique artwork. Each day I send you a little pep talk by email. I give you a task that helps you focus and get making, and at the same point in time, it’s a structure that doesn’t tell you how to create or what to create. It gives you guidance and a structure to find your own creative voice. I hope that you’ll consider joining me for the Soulbrush Sessions: 10 days to create an original artwork. All you have to do is click the button below this video to get started.