How to Make Time to Make Art
Dear Wonderful, Creative You:
Let’s make time to make art. It’s time to clear out the emotional cobwebs, and find the joy in creation and connection. You deserve creative self-care. Let’s get started with some concrete ways you can make more art.
- Leave your art out and in progress, it will tempt you to continue.
- Create an inspiration cork board – Pinterest is great, but making a real-life, tactile inspiration board with actual pictures, quotes, and pieces of art you can touch will inspire you in a totally different way.
- Do a challenge. Paint every day for 10 minutes for the next 30 days. Practice lettering every day for a week. Join the challenges we are doing on Mindful Art Studio’s Facebook group, Creative Self-Care. Create a challenge for yourself that gets you far enough out of your comfort zone that you grow and build skills, but not so far out that you get discouraged and stop. After taking Lisa Congdon’s Idea Generation class, I was reminded of how helpful a challenge is for getting you past the inner critic’s complaints and into a creative groove. This will help you to make time to make art.
- Look for inspiration daily. Look for inspiration in your doggie, in the sunset, and in the mischievous way your sister’s lip curls up in a smile. Be a receptacle for creative ideas, sounds, and images. Let them roll around in your subconscious. This is creative and mindful all at once. This is living like an artist.
- Carry a small inspiration journal and pen – Write all that inspiring stuff you noticed. Even better, draw it in. Here’s a tiny journal I love and my favorite drawing pen.
- Make art in the in-betweens. In between breakfast and getting in the car. In between cleaning up the dishes and sitting on the couch for a few minutes. In between appointments and while you wait in the car. You have time, you just haven’t prioritized your art yet.
- Stop hoarding art supplies and make something instead. This one might surprise you, but one of the many tricks of the inner critic is to tell you that collecting endless art supplies is creative. A new supply can be a great way to spark inspiration, but overdo it and you’ll be an art hoarder in a creative rut. Collect up some things you don’t use or don’t know how to use and donate them to someone or an organization that will. This will be scary, and this will be liberating. Find more art supply organization tips here. And if you are not hoarding and need some ideas on what to buy for art journaling, here’s a list of my favorite art journaling materials.
- Make art instead of looking at that little screen. (I very much include myself in this statement – no judgement here!) Just. Get. Off. Right. Now. And. Create. Something.
- Give yourself permission to be a beginner. This is hard, and yet so helpful. Just let go of expectations and be a kid drawing. It’s okay to suck.
- Make a decision to just make stuff. You will be amazed at how the time will be there once you decide it’s what you need to feel balanced and calm.You can find out the reason your inner critic is actually the one stealing your art time and more ideas on how to get around it in this post.
[bctt tweet=”Time to clear out the emotional cobwebs, and find the joy in creation and connection. You deserve creative self-care.” username=”amymaricle”]
[bctt tweet=”One of the many tricks of the inner critic is to tell you that collecting endless art supplies is creative.” username=”amymaricle”]
I can’t wait to hear how using one or two of these suggestions shifts your creative habits and helps you make time to make art. Drop in on the comments and let us know what is working for your in your own creative life.
*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to click and purchase something, at no extra cost to you, you will support the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in all of us. Now let’s make time to make art! Thank you!
Submit a Comment
Join my newsletter for weekly inspiration, workshops, and ways to connect to nature through art.
Thanks once again Amy for your inspiration on how to make time for Art.
I am a traveller, I have been travelling constantly for 3 & 1/2 years and I only travel with “carry on luggage”, so your point of not hording art supplies is an interesting one. I carry a small set of water colours ( cheap kids school type ones) a small pencil case with a few black markers and my precious journal. I have created so many beautiful memories by just filling in time waiting in places, so that when I finally get home will it will be like a collection of postcard/ snapshot memories. One thing I love doing is when I’m waiting for my food at a restaurant to do a quick sketch of the surrounds taking in the atmosphere, usually there is time to break out the watercolours and paint it in. I especially loved your suggestion of the 1″ pictures as this activity made it so easy and so much fun so quickly!
The days I don’t pack my paints, I draw a lovely picture on the white paper table cloth so when the waiter cleans up he hopefully gets a special suprise which always has ” Thankyou” written into the design.
Rosie – This sounds so wonderful! I love how you are documenting your work. I’m inspired and I’m sure others are too, which is exactly why I love it so much when we come together as a community to share ideas and a “picture” of how you are creative. I’m so curious what has you traveling this way, and also if you share your work on Instagram or a blog?
I started a micro-journal on Jan 1. I had an extra calendar and decided to do a drawing or a few words, or both at the end of the day. It’s a wall calendar, so the squares are only about an inch! I limit myself to fine point black & red markers. It’s a mindfulness exercise to look back at the day & illustrate something that moved me. I had a cold, so a few days just had a sad face & when I felt better, a shower was my high point! Now that the month is over, I have a quilt of my month. It’s helped me to be more creative in the rest of my life.
Wow – Betty! This is such a creative way to do inchies and in a reflective way. What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing it.
I hope you continue to feel better too!
Some great suggestions, love the one about getting off the little screen 🙂 I have this week had a large journal open on my desk that I did a water colour background on. I keep adding doodles to it , mainly mandalas, the repetiveness is lovely to slow me down. Its ideal for little moments or when I am waiting for paint to dry on other projects. Actually, I’ve been busy today with clients and sorting my website so I am going to do what you suggest and turn off the computer and go and add to my doodles and relax. Its 9p here so time to wind down. Thanks Amy
Ah! What a wonderful plan! Work in progress, chances to slow down, and getting off the screen! I will do the same!
Cheers and thanks for reading and showing us how it’s done!
I’m new to art journaling and have 4 journals on the go as I am impatient when it comes to waiting for the paint to dry… I also bought a small moleskin and pen for my purse which I have yet to use. I have found now that I’ve got a few pages with different types of art/mediums I’m enjoying going back and looking thru it. I’m so glad to have dived into looking for my creative self. I’m guilty of buying lots of supplies but now I’m using them 🙂 thanks for yoru site And blog Amy -I’ve really enjoyed it and found it so helpful!
Here’s a little secret – I’m more on the minimalist side than hoarder and I even have one or two things that I swear I’m going to use and just haven’t. Gathering supplies is easy to do. I also love working in multiple journals for the same reason! I also find that keeps me fresh and I don’t overwork my pages.
I wonder what’s keeping you from using the journal in your purse? Are you doing enough already and don’t need to use it in the “in betweens?” Or are you intimidated about drawing in front of others?
It sounds like you are on a wonderful path with journaling. Thanks so much for giving us a peek into your art journaling and creative life – it sounds wonderful!
Hi Amy – congratulations on your show – that’s great!! So far, I’ve been making time for my art journal; got my art table at home full of supplies (yes, that I’m hoarding..) and my art therapy clients are keeping their journals too! Now my challenge is painting a couple big canvases for my new psychotherapy office. I cringe when I look through all that crappy mass-produced “wall art”; but haven’t yet gone out and bought a canvas. I’m thinking 48×60 over the couch kind of thing.. After I gesso a canvas, it can sit for months.. Setting up my office is eating up a lot of time, but staring at empty walls is no fun.
Thanks so much for your kind words about the show. 🙂
I’m so glad that the art journaling is working out for you and your clients. How very fun! I too cringe at “wall art.” I have a few ideas though – 1. Get a cork board for inspiration in your office – I love seeing all the same bits of inspiration there. 2. What about getting more than one large canvas, or a number of smaller canvases. I’m not you, but if it were me, I’d feel totally intimidated by the pressure of doing something “good enough for my office” on that giant canvas. If you started on a series of much smaller, playful pieces, perhaps you could get started. If you can, give yourself permission to make some that stink and you won’t use or you’ll gesso over. Then, just like in Art Journaling 101 – use the messy background technique to do a color grade from peach to pink or orange or burnt sienna or white – a mostly 2 toned thing. Then over that you can paint in a favorite quote that speaks to your practice or art in general. 3. Make some hand cut stamps from foam and create a pattern over your messy background with it. https://youtu.be/Oip0ZCRUgPI 4. Use a lot of ABANDON and odd objects to make marks on the canvas – giant brushes, pieces of cloth with interesting texture, your feet, natural materials – anything. And please let us know what ends up working for you!
getting in touch with you and the wonderful folks from the creative self-care community on fb helps me so much in my transformation from a hesitant art supply hoarder to a curious and confident creatress.
I’m so happy about this!
Congrats to your group show!
You might be a new member, but you are a powerful one! Seeing your vision and creative energy emerge is an inspiration to me and I’m so thankful that you have found it. Thank you for your kind words about the show. I’m happy to have gotten in and followed through!
These are awesome tips for making time for your own creativity. I think so much of the time we tend to rush around and not take the time we need for ourselves. I particularly like the idea of taking on a challenge because it holds us somewhat accountable to ourselves! One of my main goals for myself and my art studio classes this year is to focus on art as a method of self care. Your blog is very inspiring!
Well, it sounds like you are in exactly the right place! 🙂 🙂 I think working through a challenge is such a great way to focus. I wonder what you will take on….
I am not sure yet what personal art challenge I will take on. I spend so much time teaching art in my studio to children and adults that I rarely have time to work on my own, lol. I am really getting into mindfulness through art now, so maybe it will wrap around that…
For work my challenge this year is to help others unlock their creativity and experience the joy found in the process of making art whether it is an infant exploring paint for the first time, or an adult letting go of expectations and allowing themselves to play with their art.
Jennifer – I think incorporating mindful noticing into your art practice is such a great challenge. I like creating a pretty reminder to pay attention through my senses while drawing, and then setting a timer. I mention it in case it sparks an idea in you.
My Art desk is a ‘happy’ disaster, but I do keep my large Dylusions journal out to check in daily on my WIP..It helps me to look at it everyday with fresh eyes, and if I see something I can add or edit, or change direction entirely, it keeps my juices flowing…
HI Ann: Yes! Fresh eyes are a must!! So happy that you keep things going this way!