Photo Credit: Darko Skender

With so many activities over my summer and the transition into a new job on the way, I’ve struggled with making time for my art. I promised myself, however, that I would not sacrifice my art for this new and exciting opportunity of secondary assistant principal.

Last weekend I sat down in front of a piece of blank paper for the first time in months. And I could feel the fear seeping into my body:

“You’ve lost your skill. You’ve been gone too long from art-making.”

“You were never any good in the first place! Why do you try to make time?”

Whatever you do, you won’t be satisfied.”

I stepped away from the paper, did some planning, and jumped back in. But nonstop negative-speak poured from my brain. I walked away from the artwork feeling defeated and lost. Maybe I had “lost it?” I felt a part of myself was displaced.

Determined to make art again I journal-ed and reflected. But it was as I worked on other things that a thought occurred to me: my own preconceived notions about my process were hindering my artistic progress. I decided then and there to reinterpret the work I had barely started and brought out a new, beautiful piece of white paper. And I started to sketch. I did only a small amount of work, but I felt committed to the artwork. As soon as that negative voice kicked in I walked away so I could focus on my positives.

The next day I committed to 15 minutes of art time. I started developing the drawing a bit more and finally felt like I was in “the zone.” I worked for only 30-40 minutes in the end, but managed to capture the likeness I hoped to portray in the portrait. The endorphins I remembered once feeling from the creative process were back!! 🙂

This experience has reminded me of a few things:

PATIENCE. I needed to give myself time to remember my process and PRACTICE. Of course I was intimidated about jumping right in, I needed to reestablish my ROUTINE! And it’s important to fight reflecting when I’m in process of creating.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: How do you re-establish your creative routine after a hiatus? What suggestions do you have to reintroduce your creative process?