It’s the beginning of the year and many of us are making resolutions to start off the year right. We are already a week into the month so by this time many people may be struggling with keeping their resolutions. This is why I find that a focus on longevity the most important especially in art making.
I made my resolution back on January 26th 2013 and since that day I have done some type of art every single day (for at least 30 minutes). Do you want to know how I’ve been able to do this every day straight for almost 3 years? It’s simple, I made a goal that I couldn’t fail at.
Do a minimum 30 minutes of art every single day FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
I made this goal because there have been two long periods of time in my life where I didn’t do art. Right after college in 1997 I went 5 years without doing any artwork and then after my first art show in 2007 I went another 5 years without doing any art. The interesting thing that no one ever told me is that representational art is not like riding a bike, you lose the skill over time. So basically I started over each time. If I had just continued to do a bit of art every day for those five years I would be light years ahead of where I am now.
So, longevity is the most important. It’s even more important than doing art well, or making something that looks good to sell. This is probably hard for most people to do. I used to think that if I couldn’t make a nice painting or drawing then there was no reason to start. This way of thinking led to 5 years of stagnation and ultimately starting over.
Why 30 minutes? Because you have to think about the days where doing art it the most difficult. Such as, the day when I was so busy with work and travel that I forgot to do a drawing until I was 30,000 feet in the air. It was super late, I was super tired, but I did a drawing for 30 minutes. Was it a great drawing, heck no, but it kept me thinking about art.
The best cure for not wanting to work is WORK
Over the past three years I have had lots of times where I didn’t feel like doing any art. But I just sit down, and do my 30 minutes of whatever. Eventually the spark will ignite again and I’m back up to 2 and 3 hours a day. By doing these short sketches or painting sessions when I don’t feel like doing anything I put myself in a position to allow for inspiration and motivation.
Another thing that keeps me going is tracking my work daily, this blog helps tremendously. On the days when I don’t feel like working I look back at the hundreds of days I’ve completed and say, “there is no way in hell I’m going to stop today”.
That’s enough of me rambling about my daily art thoughts, here is today’s work.
Life Drawing: Longevity, Post Inspiration
These are some wonderful gestures by Ryan Woodard, I would like to be able to do gestures of the figure as well as he. Check out the cool drawings and animations on his site.