Now that I’ve spent a whole weekend with this motto and listened to two talks (by Jennifer K. Mann and Kirby Larson), I want to share some of my notes and thoughts with you on this topic.
- Acknowledge that your Art = Work.
- Your Work matters.
- Harvest “hidden pockets of time” (Mann), for example, while you’re commuting, at night, when your kids take a nap, …
- Try to find useful things (like information/ inspiration/ people/ material/…) everywhere you go
- Make your art/work portable so you can work everywhere! I try to carry a sketch pad with me at all times, and most of us are never without their smartphone, with which you can take pictures, take notes, do research,…
- Be aware of your needs, self-care is important!
- Keep a journal (whatever works best for you, a notepad, sketchpad, a digital note file on your smartphone, even Instagram is a journal!)
- Look for memories and experiences in your life that are worth being told and shared
- Engage friends and family to get some fresh ideas/ inspiration/help you get the time you need
- Establish (good) habits/rituals/routines, that help you start the day/your work (like making tea or taking a deep breath, easy things. If you already have a habit you can try to add a new one to that)
- Enter competitions and take classes, be brave and learn! I submit to “draw this!” by the SCBWI every month and I’m always looking for opportunities.
- Disregard advise that doesn’t feel right or that doesn’t work for you.
- Life happens, be attentive! Everything has its time.
- Find someone that supports you (this can be family & friends, but it can also be a critique group/partner, fellow artists, …)
- Make it easy on yourself, let go of a clean house – it’s not worth it if it stops you from creating
- Build connections! Go to conferences, workshops, events, … talk to people and stay in touch
- “Don’t be afraid to make crap!” (Larson), in art quantity makes quality, you will always learn something (even if you draw the same apple a 100 times)
- Be a “Flaneur”, that is “a part of this world, but apart” (Larson), observe your surroundings, take notes of things you see without analyzing them
- Stop thinking, start creating
- DON’T QUIT !
In short: be good to yourself and others and never give up.