I’ve been very busy lately, but I’ve still been trying to squeeze in art time. Most of that art time has been thinking-about-art time rather than making-art time, but it still feels productive.

Some friends and I have an ongoing discussion about creativity. We talk about our workspaces, what it means to skill-build, self-educate and inspire and what are the obstacles to being an active creative person. We meet regularly so that someone notices when we don’t do the great project we’ve been dreaming up (and instead watch marathons of cheap reality tv -or whatever that time sink is).

 

These are commonalities we have noticed (we are visual artists, writers and musicians):

1. Everyone has insecurities about what they’re doing. The important part is to get beyond them to be able to do meaningful practice and thus make things and improve. Check out these things to feel better about this fact. (1) (2) (3) (4) (I’ve put these in the order you should watch/ read them to catch references.)

2. Taking care of yourself is really important – eating well, being rested enough, exercising, etc. If you don’t, it’s like cutting the bottom off of Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs pyramid.

3. Beginnings are easier than endings.

4. It is extremely helpful to have another person to bounce ideas off of. Otherwise you can find yourself in the monkey house* or always willing to finish it “later” or “tomorrow.”

5. Finding ways to effectively manage your time is key. We all have time sinks in our lives, and figuring out what to prioritize and how is essential to having time for creative pursuits.

 

*When the primatologist first arrives at the monkey house s/he notices the stink, but after spending some time there, it’s unnoticable. (ie. If your project is never seen by fresh eyes you can go down the wrong path entirely and end up with something that stinks.

 

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