Unfortunately, this fact is something that I had to learn the hard way after realizing by the age of 38 that I had lost most of my artistic skill by not doing art for 5 years.
Art is Hard
The complexity of creating art demands to be constantly refreshed in your brain with consistent work.
Art is not only a cognitive ability but a physical one as well. It takes mental and physical acuity to be able to do it well.
As representational artists we have to learn composition, drawing, value, form, color and all the fundamentals.
I’ve got a whole stack of books, online courses and years at school to help me to learn all this stuff.
But, no matter how much I read I also need to back it up with practice. Knowing how to do something and actually doing it is hard.
It’s like binging a bunch of Florent Farges’ videos on YouTube and thinking you can paint like he does.
I wish it was that easy. We all gotta put in the work. Art is too difficult to learn once and retain it perfectly the rest of your life.
When you stop practicing, your skills deteriorate.
This is the most important reason why in 2013 I made a commitment to do art daily, every single day, for the rest of my life.
After 5 years of not doing any art I realized that I had lost most of my skill and I needed to start from the beginning.
Starting over again is not something I never want to repeat so I committed to daily art. I committed to the continual effort of refreshing my skills daily and not allowing them to deteriorate any longer.
Checkout my video on setting a minimum to help you balance life and your art so you can do art every day for the rest of your life as well.
Sports are a good example here. If you heard of an athlete that had been away from the game for 5 years or even a year. Would you expect them to play at the same level as they did before.
No! They’re going to be “rusty”.
I like the word rusty. It reminds me of the things we use all the time. If you haven’t used your car in a year don’t expect it to start right away.
The batter is probably dead, the gas has gone bad in it, and it has gotten… rusty.
Don’t let your art habit rust in the driveway like that old car. Show it some love. Take a drive around the block every day with the windows down to let it air out.
You may find that you remember old times and get motivated to drive or draw a bit longer.
TURN ON THE LIGHT
So, How long has it been since you’ve done your art? How long have those materials sat idle?
If you’ve been away from art for a while, it is what it is, don’t beat yourself up about it, let’s get back into practice.
As one philosopher said. It doesn’t matter how long the light in the room has been off, you can easily turn on the light again.
The room may be a bit dusty, you may have to tidy up, but now It’s all about getting back to it. The light is on. The past is in the past. We can learn from it.
To get you started here is how to make a simple and easy commitment to practicing your art daily?
Remember to start small and go for a long term commitment for the rest of your life, not results in a short time.
It will be hard to get started again. Just like it will be hard to get that old car started again.
Don’t set a goal to be racing down the street within the next week. Just identify the next easy step and get that done today. Then the next step tomorrow. And the next day.
Then just keep stepping. The wait is over! Get started today!
Once again I hope you find this video/post helpful. My purpose here is to help other artists become better versions of themselves and one day achieve their dreams.
Please ask any questions you want. I love helping and I reply personally to every email sent.