Get sweaty… (from dancing). Paint until your eyes are ready to roll out of your head, your tendonitis has your tendons singing, your back cracks, your neck creaks like a gravel pit… don’t write to me if you’re avoiding your creative work. But if you’ve been strumming guitar strings until the callouses broke and bled, take a break and share your creative foreplay with the rest of us.
How do you get yourself to start working on art? For me, it’s not always easy. If I find myself in avoidance mode, but I really want to work (or am on a deadline for a project), here are some of my tricks:
- tidy up the studio, get the stage set for fresh work
- do the easy part first, work up to the harder parts
- get my hand moving, even if it’s just mixing colors.
- Mix those colors, they’re like an aphrodisiac to a painter
- Listen to music for inspiration
- Honestly, in season I listen to the Cubs on the radio (and the hours fly by). If they’re winning, I feel confident that even an artist can make it in this world. If they’re losing, I wallow in the sweet, solitary pain of the artistic life (which is a lot like the life of a Cubs fan– moments of joy in a life of unrequited love)
- show my artist friends what I’m working on– get feedback. If I show it to them, it makes me more excited about what I’m doing
- make something else, like cookies or a little sewing project, to remind me that making stuff is fun
- use some tools– find an excuse to cut some wood, or use my power tool (power is empowering)
- take a good walk with Willow to get me out of the house and moving
What do you do?