[daisy sketch using the iPad Pro + Procreate + Apple Pencil. Made only because I was stuck on the couch with a migraine. Basically my body telling myself to get back to living my dreams.]
I’ve had a photo of this daisy stem sitting in my queue to create a sketch from since, oh, about December. Isn’t it amazing how quickly time flies right by us? Having a teen and a preteen, homeschooling, running a growing business, keeping healthy and fit, and squeezing in a bit of travel (I definitely need to write a bit about our recent travels). I don’t always feel like I have the energy for much more that flopping on the couch to some television at the end of the day.
Lately though, I’ve been working to push myself to learn the discipline of showing up every day for my art practice – for ME. As moms and dads or working adults, or students – whatever it is that keeps us busy and focused on surviving – it can be so difficult to break out of that space of run, run, run…collapse and sleep… repeat. It takes so much more effort to find and choose those things that FEED OUR SOUL than to just default to whatever is in front of us. (Guilty! Of Netflix + social media brain numbing at the end of the day.)
[I’m excited to have my studio space filling with pieces of my art practice! Perfect daily reminder!]
Some days I’m great at showing up – I might even string together a run of a week or two. In fact, I’d say that in general, I’m getting better. But it has taken so much effort to turn that ship. The biggest thing that has surprised me is how much TIME I’m finding that I have. For years, I’ve fooled myself into believing that I didn’t have time to work on becoming an artist – I didn’t have time for the classes, the practice (SO MUCH PRACTICE), or the inspiration phase of making art.
All that so say, I wanted to begin sharing my journey as an artist here in my online journal. Not because I’m anybody special – but, because I want to encourage you on your journey, too! Whatever your dream is, you can find the time, you can do the work, and you can make it happen.
Five things I’m learning about pursuing my dream of being a working artist:
- It will be hard. That’s part of what makes it worth it. It’s also a huge reason why more people don’t accomplish their dream. Not because they don’t have the talent, but because it’s hard work.
- It will take time that you don’t think you have. I’ve made a big effort to step away from my smartphone/laptop/tablet/television in the last 6-9 months, and let me tell you, it was hard. But, I’m finding that all of those things that I didn’t think I had energy for at the end of the day? They make me feel renewed and energized by doing them. So instead of draining my energy more, they actually give back to me in ways that distractions don’t. That’s not to say I’ve given ANY of these things up, I’m just mindful of how and when I use them. And I totally have way more time than I thought I did.
- Self discipline is NOT about being hard on myself. It’s about self love. For some reason along the path of life I fell into the idea that self discipline meant beating myself up over things. No idea where that came from. As a parent, I can totally attest to the fact that I/we discipline the kids because we love them and want what’s best for them. Even when they can’t see it that way. Well, who’s there to do that for me? Myself. Self discipline means choosing the things that are best for me over what I feel like. In love. Like a gentle parent that really wants what’s best for me! That means picking up a book and reading, working to solve that problem, eating healthy, working out, and spending quality time with the people I love. Making an effort to choose the things I really want in life, vs. just defaulting to something.
- Myself, and my art, don’t need to come last. Guilty as charged. I bought that one hook, line, and sinker for so many years. And it’s not just a “mom” thing. My husband struggles with this, too – to write that article or spend time with the boys? It’s an easy trap to fall into. And it’s a disfunction that society and culture actually applaud! We’re taught that if we put ourselves last, things will work out and still happen for us – they really will. I’m learning that’s just not true. The truth is that when we put ourselves last all the time, we end up burnt out, and not even able to love and care for others the way that we want to. Of course I don’t mean for anyone to ignore responsibilities, but seriously. Take some time for yourself. Love you, and you’ll be able to love others that much more.
- Don’t be afraid to be a beginner. Everyone starts as one. The only way you become a master is by not quitting. See numbers one through four. In your heart of hearts, you know it can be tough to not be great at something and just show up until you become great. Hard work, persistence, time.
Next week I’ll begin sharing some of the resources that are helping me on my art journey – classes, books, podcasts. Can’t wait to check back in. If you want, you can start with this post: Five Books that Changed my Life in 2017 and pop by my personal instagram if you’re looking to see where I share my art practice work!