How to do art daily is very close to my heart. I live this ideal every day and it has changed my life. With this short video and post I hope to change your life also.
I’ve been doing art daily now for 2818 days straight. That is almost 8 years, 7.72 to be exact. Through those 7.72 years I’ve completed at least 1744 separate works from short sketches, pages of gestures to paintings that have taken months.
Needless to say I’ve learned a lot about how to do daily art and to keep doing it for a long time.
How to do art daily?
I started in 2013 when I made a commitment to do art daily for the rest of my life, I want to help you make that same commitment.
I want to touch on “identity” here because this is extremely important to why to do art daily. Identity is set by your behaviors and habits. Your identity is what you do daily. If you are an accountant you most likely do it daily, if you’re a tidy person then you keep your home tidy. You are what you do repeatedly.
“The more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior. In fact, the word identity was originally derived from the Latin word essentitas, which means being, and identidem, which means repeatedly. Your identity is literally your “repeated beingness.’”
James Clear from Atomic Habits
Identity is your repeated beingness!
The reason why I made such a huge commitment to do art daily for the rest of my life is because I wanted to be an artist. But I knew that if I was going to make that kind of commitment, and stick to it, I couldn’t complete a painting every day and I couldn’t spend 4 hours a day on art for a extended period of time.
I needed to plan for those days when I didn’t have enough time, I was sick or I just didn’t feel like it.
Plan for your worst day ever
A good example is traveling. We have all had days when you need to get up at 2 in the morning, catch a flight, fly all day then have to go to sleep when you get there. You don’t have much time at all.
Or there are days when you feel sick, maybe you have the flu or Covid-19 or you’re in the hospital. Your health isn’t allowing you to work.
Then there are times that we all face most often, we just don’t feel like it.
How do we overcome all these worst days? You make your art practice easy by setting a minimum.
Set a minimum
Bj Fogg is his book Tiny Habits uses an awesome model to help individuals manage their motivation and ability to move forward with any task regardless of their state.
Basically if your motivation is high, your health is good and you have enough time. Then your going to be able to complete hours of art. But, if your motivation is low, your health sucks or you don’t have much time at all you can’t expect to complete a lot of art.
Here is where I set a minimum. This is a minimum that I must reach every single day to hit my goal of daily art. It’s simple, I do at least 30 minutes of art every day and I believe I can achieve this for the rest of my life.
What is your minimum?
It’s much more important to continually get in touch with your artistic identity daily by doing a minimum than it is to complete a work of art that is worthy of a frame. So set a minimum, no matter how small and set yourself up for success every single day. Believe me and look at my blog these daily short sessions compound and multiply into great skills.
Here is an example of a couple of sketches where I used the minimum to show up as an artist even on my worst day ever.
The sketch on the left was done at 3 in the morning right before I was going into surgery for a kidney transplant. The sketch on the right was done the next day while I was lying in the hospital recovering from major surgery.
I planned ahead for this day and regardless of how bad the sketches are I look at these often with pride as I overcame my worst day possible and showed up with my identity as an artist.
If I can do my art on this day, all other days are easier.
Plan for your worst day, set a daily minimum, keep the streak and habit going by doing it daily no matter what. Through this your willpower will grow, your skills will grow and you will be in touch with your true identity. That’s how you do art daily.
Be the artist you’ve always wanted to become and create daily!