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Developing a creative practice: my two-step formula

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

I believe that we all have a creative spirit that wants (needs?) to be nurtured. Creation can take many forms - not just painting or artsy stuff. Gardening, floral design, architecture, writing, teaching, business, just about any role or industry has a creative aspect to it. Some of us though, are drawn to color, texture and the emotions expressed in visual art.

I made things as a child and just kept making things into adulthood. It really wasn't a choice for me, the excitement I felt (and still feel) when I'm making something or exploring a creative idea is what makes me happy to get up in the morning.

I was scared to start painting because that felt intimidating to me and only for people "with talent" who went to "art school." I smile at that now because it's completely bogus. What finally got me on the path to making art I like that grew into an art business was a regular creative practice. It wasn't smooth or consistent at first. I would start with an online class and then stop because I didn't like what I did. But over two years I just didn't stop for long. I really started making progress when began using this simple two-step formula. I've added some examples in each category to give you an idea but the list goes on and on. The idea is just to take action every day and to keep it simple on days when you don't have much time. These can both be done in 10 minutes total if that's all you have that day.

Step 1: Play with paint or drawing tools every single day.

  • Paint some leaves or anything in a sketchbook for 10 minutes.

  • Make marks in a sketchbook while watching TV at night.

  • Paint a page of different colored squares or circles or any other shapes.

  • Play with color mixing and see how many colors you can make with just 3 or four main colors.

  • Paint a simple flower or image with your non-dominant hand and then with your other hand.

  • Try making those colors from the paint store by mixing them yourself.

  • Find pictures of textures you like and try to make those with household tools and paint.

Step 2: Learn something art-related every single day.

  • Watch an online class on Skillshare or Youtube artist do something that you like. (I have a youtube channel with art process videos and supply show and tells - as do many artists!)

  • Research art videos on Youtube on supplies and what they can do.

  • Make a Pinterest board of art you love or use IG and save the photos of art you love.

  • Look through images that you love and write down what you love about them.

  • Go to the paint store and collect the paint chips of all your favorite colors.

  • Find and follow artists you love on IG and make notes about what you love in their art.

If you really want to, you will find a way to do this and if you don't - no worries! Any time spent creating is good for your soul. You just may like creating as a therapeutic, relaxing thing to do and not be as obsessed as I was (and am) about continually improving. It's all good :)

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