How can habits cultivate your creativity? A review of the Book Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and apply it's ideas to creative process.

Taking the right steps to enhance your creativity requires a little planning and reflection.

Do you wish to build a better artist habit into your life?

Many of you talk about finding time or making time for your art every day. If you want to learn how your personality influences the way you cultivate habits, you are in the right place. I’ve recently read Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and here are today’s Top Takeaways:

You are likely an obliger or questioner.

Most people fall into these two tendencies. More rare are rebels and upholders. Want to discover your tendency? Take Rubin’s free quiz here.

Habits are something we cultivate to forget about.

Do you think about brushing your teeth every morning? No, you likely just do it. Why? Because it’s a habit: it’s part of a routine so you don’t have to think about it. Habits give our brains a bit of a break and get us repeating behaviors without a whole lot of work.

No one is “bad” at habits.

It’s like if you struggle to create a habit that a) the topic just isn’t that important to you or, b) you are NOT using strategies that suit your tendency. For example, I’m an upholder. Calendars and lists work really well for me. They are not so useful for rebels, who do not enjoy following rules or systems.

Strategies for habit formation must suit your tendency.

Obligers have difficulty meeting internal expectations but do fine meeting outside expectations, thus, it would be useful for an obliger to join our FB Group and announce an art intention. Because we would all know said intention and goal, s/he knows we can ask about the project and see if they are following through on the goal/project/task.

How can habits cultivate your creativity? A review of the Book Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and apply it's ideas to creative process.

I don’t have to think about brushing my teeth every morning, I just know to do it.

Let’s apply the tendencies to our creative practice.

One of the biggest obstacles you all face is making time for your art. So, how can you utilize your tendency to help you create more time for your art?

Obligers need someone to check in on them or someone to make art alongside. Knowing they have to “report in” or that someone else is counting on them to be there with them making art will make it easier to make art!

Questioners need to understand how making regular time for their art will yield results. Or, why a certain time of day would best suit their desire for daily art practice. Understanding and buying into the logistics and idea behind a goal will help them create the habit.

Upholders love checklists. My accountability calendar is great for this. I know it holds me accountable to a near daily art practice and I love the feeling of ticking off a box saying, “Yes! I did this!”

Rebels need to create from a place of freedom. Art needs to be a space to express freedom. If the idea of daily practice empowers them and their art to feel independent and free, this can motivate consistent work.

power of habit, free art resources, changing habits, art education, free art lessonsHow can the tendencies impact the way we share or sell our art?

If you wish to get a large social media following, or regularly sell your art, it would be wise to consider the tendencies of your potential audience and buyers.

Obligers are not strong at follow through for things just for themselves, unless they have burnt out on saying yes to others. They need to know how purchasing your art, or sharing your art will help others. Can it be a gift for someone? Do you contribute money from each art you sell to a cause? Or, do you have a special message that can spread goodwill? These ideas will likely appeal to an obliger.

Questioners will want to know the answers to any potential objections to buying or sharing your work. How does shipping work? Where is it shipped from? How long does it take to arrive? And some other, more big picture questions could include: why is the artwork valuable? Why should people care about your art? Think of every question someone could ask you about your art and have answers at the ready for your questioner audience.

Upholders will likely want to know about your accolades and achievements. Where have you exhibited your art? What awards have you won? Is the work part of a larger project or goal? How is that going? How does the way you work on the art show your special dedication and service to the work itself? To progress in the arts? Upholders are driven by achievement and will likely connect if you frame conversations about your work in this way.

Rebels operate from a place of freedom. How does your work convey a sense of personal independence, expression and freedom? As soon as their is a “should” or some rule to abide by rebels want to break the rule or ignore the “should.” How does your art break rules or push the boundaries of “the system?”

How can habits cultivate your creativity? A review of the Book Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and apply it's ideas to creative process.

Many tendencies need the support and help of others in their life to develop and keep habits. Be sure to know the tools that will help you succeed. And use them.

How you can help each tendency.

Obligers need your expectations. Check in with them and ask about their art. It will help them make more of it.

How can habits cultivate your creativity? A review of the Book Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and apply it's ideas to creative process.

Cover of the book Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Questioners need your reasoning. If you offer feedback about an artwork, don’t just say what you see, explain why you think it’s important.

Upholders need your help to slow down and savor the little things. They can be too busy achieving to enjoy their art. Give them homework that involves art PLAY.

Rebels need no expectations. Don’t tell them how to do something or what should be done. Instead ask: what will set you free?

Want the book for yourself? Support Artist Strong and purchase it through my affiliate link here.

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Be Creatively Courageous: What tendency reflects your nature? What are two strategies you might use today to help you cultivate your desired art habit?