When I first started taking my acrylics abstract painting class 6 years ago, I was soooo excited to have a structure set up to make consistent art. I knew that every week, no matter what else was happening in my life, I would always have those 2 hours to create. I didn’t have to make time to make art, it was already set up for me!
Fast forward to today, where I have a 15 month old, a husband and various other obligations. My time is rarely my own and I’m usually juggling two things at once just to fit it all in. Can you relate? Even the most productive + talented creatives talk about the struggle of just getting to it. And we forget that the creating part actually starts way before you’re physically sitting down with the tools–it starts with a state of mind and mentally getting in the flow of creating.
So when I found myself at a total standstill with making art, I knew I needed a new system. I needed a better way to carve out the time. I needed a new mindset. And the new way was going to feel different from my carefree hours long sessions of painting so I had to be flexible + willing to experiment.
Here are 7 ways I create more art, hopefully they will get you creating, too:
Leave work out where you can see it and it is accessible.
Leaving your supplies and a piece in progress out on a table where you can see it, makes it easier to pick up and continue creating.
Create a mood board.
Pinning pictures you love and any other visual cues that inspires you to a board will fill your creative well. When you see something that sparks a ‘yes!’ in you, tack it up. Refer to your board when it’s time to create and you will instantly get in the mood. And if you don’t want to create a physical board, Pinterest is a great alternative. You can make a virtual board that will inspire you just the same.
Keep a pen and notepad with you wherever you go.
I have found that inspiration always strikes when I’m relaxed and not thinking about creating anything! So the best way to capture the muse is to write it down–write the words that spark excitement or make a sketch to capture the moment–writing down that feeling will help you come back to it later.
Expand the creativity in things you already do.
Everyday you are creating more than you realize. Whether it’s cooking, baking, gardening or DIY projects in your home, you are putting your crafty ways to work. Even dressing yourself in a creative way can be exciting! When you’re more present during your day, you will recognize all of the un-traditional ways to get inspired. Start appreciating those and let them be the fuel to stimulate you even more.
Create in micro-blocks. (Don’t wait for that big chunk of time.)
The longer you wait to create, the longer it takes to make the time. It’s the perfect form of self sabotage! Gah. So why not try using the micro blocks that pop up during the day? In the car before picking up the kids, sketch a little something in your notepad or on a random piece of paper. Or when you’re waiting for dinner to be ready, plan out your next blog post or creative venture. The big chunk of time may never come, just do it now.
Every time you reach for your phone, pick up a pen/crayon/marker/brush instead.
We waste sooooo much time surfing the web and on social media (I know I do!) Use that time to capture a few free moments of art-making that you’re craving. Play a game with yourself for a week and replace that time you usually pick up your phone to browse the web with other creative activities–see how much you can actually create!
Let yourself off the hook.
Don’t sit down with the intention to create your next masterpiece! That kind of pressure can kill even the most motivated artist. Just enjoy the creative process, inch by inch, and let it happen–you might be pleasantly surprised.
Want to show me + other creatives that wonderful work you DO make? Join my private Facebook Group for creatives here.