Between a mark and a mural, aka what rules do you set for your creative work?

What rules do you make?

To like what I created.
To make a full page.
To use the fancy journal.
To follow a particular prompt.
To participate in _____ challenge.
To draw perfect perspective.
To use a pretty color palette.
To write >999 words.
To finish a thing.
To draw >60 minutes.
To work on X [a specific project].
To work at my art desk.
To create something instagrammable.
To get _____ likes.

You get to decide.
These aren’t inherently good or bad.

Between a mark and a mural

You’ve likely got a tracker or planner, perhaps a mental checklist, to keep you grounded and accountable within your art-making endeavors. But how do you decide whether you’ve done ENOUGH creative stuff to earn that elusive "check" or criss cross, or fill-in, to your color-coded bullet journal?

Yes, there is value to keeping yourself accountable and not just phoning it in, to really trying to meet your goals. But I will volley over that if you make it TOO harsh, too big a hurdle, too freaking hard to get that check mark, the entire process backfires.

Build on successes; build inertia by DOING.
{More thoughts on building creative confidence here}

Try to treat yourself with grace and kindness. Give yourself a ✅ today if you made some progress. I know it sounds counter-intuitive. Here’s the caveat. If you look back in a month or three and feel like you really aren’t accomplishing enough - per your personal goals— you can up the ante and make it a bit more challenging. I’m thinking here about the process for BUILDING INERTIA. A small daily art task is the key to keeping you in the flow of making art. This also works for REBOOTING a creative practice. Or re-energizing. Or re-building. Or REJUVENATING. If you’re already swooshing along quite smoothly with your art practice, this is going to work differently. You do what works for you. If you’ve got a process that works STICK with it! But if you are struggling to get that process spinning, take a look at how you are tracking, how you are “viewing” what you’ve done.

Remember the index-card-a-day challenge — one tiny project — makes such a difference, right? It’s deflating to be harsh with yourself and have to debate all of this constantly.

Tracking 365 project

If you count anything that helps you move forward in your creative work, you get that zesty feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT and you get a STREAK going! It feels good! Bowling strikes upon strikes. 🎰🎯🎳🎲 Then you want to do more!

It’s not always what you think it “should” be, and it’s not always fancy or shiny or colorful. It’s not always something you want to share with others. One day that might be cutting swatches of fabric for a future quilt. Or sewing a circle onto a random art journal page with magenta embroidery floss. Or knitting 5 rows on the cardigan. Or learning all of the parts of a letterform.

C’mon. You can do this.

It all goes into the cache of creative work.

Daisy Yellow1 Comment