The other day I found myself berating myself for not being able to find time for my art. A little writing here and there and not much else. I felt miserable, like I was wasting away, getting older and not getting to the important work. What was the point of my lifeÂ if Iâ€™m not doing anything artistic? I kept pushing it off, waiting for that magical moment when Iâ€™d feel inspired and serene, ready to get back to it.
Then I started to watch where my mind was focusing.
It usually had to do with someone who was bugging me, sometimes itâ€™d stretch out to wondering how Iâ€™ll ever be able to make enough money to retire on. Inevitably it would circle round to feeling guilty about not making art and assessing my loser status as a result.
Regardless of the topic, what I noticed was the steam coming out of my ears, as I rumbled along, obsessing about one thing or another. I could see how, left unchanelled, my creative mind will passionately go to work, puling apart and analysing whatever it chooses to encounter.
And if that misuse of my creative energy isnâ€™t enough to keep me out of the studio, how about those thousands of things competing for my timeÂ ? Here I am, on my own, making a new life for myself in the US, a country I havenâ€™t lived in, in almost three decades. No easy task.
And how about my apartmentÂ ? Surely, itâ€™s not going to clean itself.
Thatâ€™s when I stopped waiting for serenity and inspiration, or even time. I closed the door on my disorganized apartment, and yanked myself back to the studio.
And then, oh the bliss of painting away again and feeling on purpose.
In a nutshell, hereâ€™s what Iâ€™ve found to be trueÂ :
- Donâ€™t wait for inspiration, inspiration will come as you work.
- Watch where your mind goes, you might be surprised at what it finds to chew on.
- Pull yourself away from the miriads of things you focus on every day and the tasks you think you absolutely have to get done before you can make art. Save some energy for your art, or the rest will pull you in.
- Get better at organizing your time.
- Remember, if youâ€™re an artist, making art isnâ€™t a luxury but a necessity.
Iâ€™d love to hear your thoughts.