Today’s blog will cover how to ensure inspiration is always at hand, by doing your work every day. You can now skip the rest of this article as it goes on to explain this idea further.
Keep moving forward each day with an effort toward your success as an artist. Whether you’re an actor, writer, sculptor, dancer – there are things you must do consistently in order to stay in form and ideally improve your craft. Doing something art-related every day fuels your success. If not updating your email list, perhaps washing brushes, organizing reference, doing scales or exercises, cleaning up, jotting a list of supplies needed, or dreaming up new organizational tools.
As long as you make an effort every day, the muses will come. In the past, I felt like the inspiration flowed through me to create some paintings. When asked about a particularly improvised artwork, I’ll admit “Well, I was there when that painting happened.” But don’t just take my word for it. Twyla Tharpe’s awesomely inspiring The Creative Habit touts this reality.
Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits. That’s it in a nutshell.”
~ Twyla Tharp from The Creative Habit
Steven Pressfield’s books “The War of Art” and “Turning Pro” offer advice about how to tear down the obstacles in your path. In both books, he asks you to commit to the role you’ve chosen and get busy. Pros work every day. The end.
As each day dawns you get a new opportunity to confirm your place in the world as an artist. No one can do it better than you; no one can do precisely what you do. And belief in yourself must start with you, no?
In a typical day, I would do routines such as journaling and coffee, hot bath, some yoga or watching Ted talks. Maybe some meditation. Then knuckle under and so some things on my TO DO list. No one likes a chore. But if you look upon it as a necessary step toward your eventual success, it can take on a new lustre. Do one chore; win one break. One chore; one break.
Some habits involve simply deciding when you’ll work on promotion versus creating, versus resting. I dislike routine, but know I need to stick to some habits in order to be successful.
Painting every day has shown to invite some serious inspiration. To put it another way, great things happen when I paint regularly. I believe that’s where the muses come in, literally. You go to work each day, showing them you’re serious about your work, and they bring you great technique, ideas, consistency, whatever it is you need.
Regarding habits; if you need to have a space set up in your house so that you can walk into your creative space and start doing your thing, then do it. If it takes half an hour to unpack/set up, your inspiration may fizzle out. That’s one trick that can really help you make the most of the inspiration when it strikes.
Not sure what’s inspiring? Take note of when you look upon something and you feel joy, uplifted, happy. Those are the subjects that inspire you. I think I became an artist because I see beauty almost everywhere, and felt I needed to share that joy.
So do your daily habit around your art. Expand into the role of resident artist and know that if you stick with it, everything will improve.