Following on from my last post I have been thinking even more on the subject of procrastination and getting to the easel. One of the biggest myths I have discovered – is that artists need freedom – freedom to decide where and when to work, no rules, just a desire to create good work. On the face of it, this seems like the perfect way of working but in reality, trying to create in this way meant that I got very little done.
The more routines I put in place and restrictions I put on my time the more work I get done. The structure of a routine gives me the freedom to work within the boundaries I have set myself.
This is really important: Just because you are working to a routine, it does not mean that your work becomes a routine (i.e formulaic) – the routine and structure just build a little safety zone around a period of time where you can create without distraction.
So what stopped me working before? How has my thought process changed?
1. Fear – fear of not getting enough done in my days in the studio (I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough time, oops now I have no time)
Answer: The more I worry about lack of time, the less I get done – the best thing is just to get down and do the work in the time that you do have.
2. Fear – fear of spending a whole day creating rubbish and not having anything to show for it. (if I don’t create anything then none of can be rubbish so that must be better, right? Wrong!)
Answer: If you only create one piece of work a month or a week there is an awful lot of pressure on that piece of work to be good. If you create 50 pieces of work in a month or a week then if 4o of those are rubbish, 5 are mediocre and 5 are good/great then you have 5 successful pieces and 45 pieces to learn from! The more you create, the more chance there is of creating the occasional gem. The rubbish works are the journey to the great ones.
3. Distractions – phone, internet, dishes, gazing out the window, anything but painting.
Answer: At the end of the day (honestly) what would I rather be doing? The dishes or painting? Painting. So why am I doing the dishes then? That was my answer. (Gazing out of the window is allowed – dreaming is good)
4. Deadlines. Working to a deadline sends me into the typical formula of 95% of the time till deadline messing about, 5% of the time at the end trying to get everything done.
Answer: I don’t do well with deadlines. I do better when I just do some work, some thing every day. It all adds up and suits me better.
I think these are the most important lessons I have learned in my time creating art.
Wow there is so much to write about this. Tomorrow – a little about my studio routine and hints and tips for getting down to work.
Whilst thinking about this subject and researching I found some really interesting links.
Read more here. You won’t regret it.
Wake up, Wash Face, Do Routine, Now Paint
Being productive in the studio
There is also this book which I think I may purchase as it looks such an interesting read.
Would love to hear your comments and experiences on this subject.
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