Thoughts on building a creative habit

“Although data can make a compelling case for something,
data rarely create the emotions needed to spur people into action.”
John Maeda

If you'd like to develop a consistent creative habit but it’s just not happening, try to incorporate shorter, but more frequent, art sessions into your week. The perfect circumstances and work space and time and energy level are not guaranteed. They are elusive. Start where you are and go from there.

Art journaling in gouache by Tammy Garcia.

IT ADDS UP. Soon you’ll have a stack of pages or papers or words. And YOU will have created them!

Got 20 minutes before your next class starts? OK. Draw some paisleys. Why? Because then you will have drawn something. It will feel good!!! And tomorrow? Something else. Or more of that.

Got 42 minutes in the stands while your kid is taking swimming lessons? OK. Write a haiku about swimming or a short story about the pond on your childhood farm. On Twitter? Interpret the daily #vss365 prompts [here’s my latest] and here’s more about the challenge.

Building a creative habit .

Sometimes the stumbling block is waiting for {and potentially never finding} longer art sessions. Because while we daydream of sumptuous + luxurious + floaty afternoons immersed in our world of art... life doesn’t necessarily work that way. So if you find yourself searching for “the perfect quiet morning” or “a great Saturday art workshop” or putting some other “HAVE TO HAVE” that must happen before you get back into your art — loosen up those requirements for now. You can always re-adjust. But not starting is still not starting.

In my experience, short 15-45 minute bursts of writing or drawing or painting contribute to the "bigger picture" and help keep you in the flow, on the path, in the groove.