How to keep going
Updated: Jan 22, 2019
Having a hobby or passion amidst the insanity of day to day life can be pretty draining to keep up with. As someone who works a full time job, I sometimes go through phases in life that take me away from my passion of creating art. There have been periods in my life where I went months without creating due to an overload of other obligations, I lost balance and could not find the motivation to create. Because creating is my true calling and passion, not creating art can also lead to emotional numbness and depression for me. Having the outlook of art is essential to my wellbeing and success in life (whether I make money from it or not).
Going through an artistic dry spell can actually dull your skills and make set your progress back quite a bit (especially if you go a long period of time like I did). It's strange and incredibly discouraging when you expect yourself to be able to execute an idea that was once easy for you. When find yourself struggling to grasp that correct process to bring an idea to life.
So, what do you do when you wake up one day and realize that you haven't kept up with your art and you're just not as good as you once were? What do you do when you realize that not only have you regressed but you no longer have the time jump all in like you did when you were younger and didn't have as many obligation?
Well my friends, the answer is at once simple, easy, infuriating and sometimes almost impossible to do; Just. Start. Creating.
Give yourself the space and permission to create art that is nowhere near the level that you expect from yourself. Get some paper and a pencil and draw.
You don't have to spend hours a day doing this. Remember, you don't have to be perfect here. Expecting perfection is likely to prevent you from making progress. Approach this with not a care in the world, because (if you're like me) this is how you learned art in the first place! You did it because you could and you enjoyed exploring and finding out new techniques by accident.
Let yourself do this again. Make marks and when you stumble upon something that you like, remember it and practice it next time...then add on as you go. That is how a lot of "natural born artists" learn as children and that is how you can relearn now.
Now, the hard part is how can you maintain this? We're still living in a 9-5 world with a lot of demands on our time right? Well, my advice here is to get a sketchbook ( you can start with some thing small and cheap) and some basic supplies, and DON'T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT THEM!!! When you have 10, 5 even 3 mins here and there, put some marks down. I really mean this! If you have a situation like me where family and work ask quite a lot, it may be the only way to reignite your passion. When I go back and look at the sketchbook I used about 2 years ago when I started drawing again everyday, I can see a distinct difference in my skill level and ambition to tackle complex subject matter vs. today.
Another popular thing you can do is take part in a 30 day challenge where you post your progress everyday online. The thing about this that can be really helpful is that you add a measure of accountability to your learning process. Depending on your personality type, this could be a really great motivator to create. You could make friends and get feedback from an art community this way.
Watching online art tutorials while you cook or clean is also a great way to gain insight onto other artists techniques.
Now, if you have great time management skill (unlike me) you can also take an hour long class every week where you art taught techniques by a teacher, but you're goin go have to practice on your free time as much as possible.
It's scary to pick up art again when you haven't done it in while. If you're new and want to learn, that's scary too!! Well guess what? That's totally fine! The best, most rewarding things in life tend to be a little scary too.
Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you found something useful here.
Please comment down below with your own experiences and artistic hurdles.