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I want to talk to you about how the small details. Focusing on the small bits and pieces, the small steps you have to take will keep you motivated and passionate about your work.
The romantic notion that all art is done when the artist is passionate is false.
Frequently, we all feel a lack of motivation and passion for our craft.But, did you know that just getting going, starting, will jump start the emotions?
Passion and motivation can be generated through the action, we just need to start.
Here is some wonderful information on how powerful action can be.
He mentions an experiment.
“An ingenious series of experiments conducted a number of years ago showed that when people mimicked the facial expressions associated with happiness, they felt happier—even when they did not know they were moving “happy muscles” in their face. Researchers have found that smiling itself produces feelings of happiness.”
Isn’t that amazing.What is funny is the researches did this by having people hold a pen with their teeth. Try it. It makes you sort of smile. And that is enough to make you happier?
Wow! Here is another one.
“Depression can be created by sitting slouched in a chair, shoulders hunched, head hanging down. Repeat these words over and over: ‘There’s nothing anybody can do. No one can help me. I’m helpless. I give up.’ Shake your head, sigh, cry. In general, act depressed and the genuine feeling will follow in time… Feelings follow behavior.”
He adds: “Behavior wags the tail of feelings… We do, then we feel.”
Back to creating art.
We just need to get started! That’s it!
Or is it?
Unfortunately, getting started can sometimes be the hardest part. But, I want to share with you a hack that I use that always helps me get over that arduous hump at the beginning.
My motivation wains most at the start of a painting or when I have a lot of work left on a painting. The amount of work seems daunting. But much like climbing a mountain or going on any journey you focus on the smaller steps, what is right in front of you, and not the summit of the huge mountain or the finished painting which could be weeks away.
A successful painting is built up of thousands of brush strokes much like a successful journey is made up of thousands of steps. By breaking a painting down into smaller sections, or even individual brush strokes, and focusing on doing our best with these smaller steps will inevitably lead to a completed painting. We don’t have to look at the end, only the next step, one follows the other.
Looking at any amount of work in this way makes it much easier to start. Just say to yourself “I’m going to focus on this smaller portion and do my best”.
Starting is so much easier when all I have to worry about is painting one ear, or one foot, or one hand, or one finger.
If I think about it, I’ve never painted an entire figure, I’ve always just painted parts of a figure, shapes on canvas, that ended up being a figure.
This is a universal truth, with everything. Days in your life, hours in your day, seconds with the one you love… it all seems more wonderful when we focus on the details.
This is the heart of starting a painting or even a life long art habit.
Once you focus on the next small step and get started I’ve go more tools to help you keep going in this video here.
Get started today, You got this!
Have a wonderful week.