If you’re one of those makers who sit around waiting for the divine ‘passion’ to hit you like a tornado to be able to start with your art project, this read might be a bit discomforting for you. Because on very rare occasion does that whirl wind of emotion which gets you all giddy and gives you butterflies in your tummy, actually land in your lap.
No, what you need to do to keep at your creative passion is to just get at it. Don’t wait for a special feeling to occur to get started, think of it more as classic labour. Something that you just need to get done. That’s all. You need to be devoted of course and you need to stay curious, but you need NOT to be passionate about what you do every second of the day.
Artist work can be fulfilling and make you feel as if you’re floating on clouds, but it can also be frustrating and sometimes tiresome. Passion is lovely when it fills every cell of your being, but it’s rare to feel that way about your job at any lengthy time period, very often it is nowhere to be found.
Sometimes you might feel lost (God knows I do at times!), and you have no drive to start a new project. Or finish old ones (my problem most often...). On occasions like that my best advice is to just get yourself to the studio. Just sit there and you'll see, soon enough you'll pick up a brush and start a line. Don't judge that line! Just let one line lead to an other, keep an open mind and see where it takes you.
If you devote time to your art and most of all if you keep your eyes open you will see that the smallest, seemingly uninteresting things, might give you clues as what to do next. Keep following those clues. Stay curious. Who knows, one of those days which started off with no inspiration might in the end have brought you onto a new unexpected creative path, one you never knew you would like! Or if you’re lucky it will have ignited your very sought after passion again! Stay curios and your work will at least never be tedious.
So if you’re ever feeling stuck, don’t know when or where to start, or even HOW, don’t sweat. We've all been there. Just get yourself to your studio, put your stiff overalls on, pick up your brush and bow down to curiosity!
I have made a little ‘get started list’ which you might find handy on gloomy days.
Download the whole shabang and print it off and put it up somewhere where you’ll see it on days when you try to avoid seeing it.
Tips on how to get started with your art when you have no time, zero inspiration and you feel as if hunted by wolves (your kids).
🌟 Don’t do thorough research.
Just get at it. Start with a brush stroke and let that brush stroke lead you to the next line. Stay curious, don’t judge the result, just trust there will be more than an empty canvas when you’re done. If it looks like crap, at least you know what NOT to do next time.
🌟Use acrylic paint.
I know it’s less arty than using oils but for days with no great inspiration it is sooo good. It’s easy to paint over if things don’t go the way you had planned. And they won’t more often than not. But if you’re lucky it’ll be BETTER than planned!
🌟Master the mindset of being content with less than perfect.
Yup. Against all American cheerleading beliefs I’m telling you to settle for less. It might not have turned out to be a Rembrandt. This time. But at least you painted SOMETHING. And that’s almost always better than NOTHING. At least on shitty days. (You can aim for the sky on days when you’re feeling like superwoman, but on days when you look like Gollum and feel like his great grandma, be kind to yourself and set the aim slightly lower. An applause for even getting to the studio might be in place?)
This is my most important tip. Remember that it is curiosity which drives your work forward. Passion is great when it hits but it’s so unreliable. Sometimes it stays with you for weeks, on other days it is nowhere to be found. Nah, better to keep at curiosity. See where things lead you. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote ( in her fantastic book about creativity, “Big Magic”) that you should think of your art process as being on a scavenger’s hunt. One clue leads to an other, and if you’re lucky it’ll lead you to a new exciting unexplored path. So keep your eyes open and don’t judge.
🌟Keep coffee and good music at arms reach
I figure caffeine and a good tune helps in most situations, so I guess my most reliable tip would be to not enter your studio or work space on a gloomy day without neither.
If you want to print this off and put it up in your work space as a reminder for days when inspiration is nowhere to be found please press the link below. You can thank me later. :)
Bye for now!