In quieter moments we all have that one recurring and melancholy thought: “In another life I would have loved to…” Or, “I wish I were talented enough to…” Of course, the fantasy appears in a different form for all of us. You might dream of playing in a band, or crocheting mile-long scarves or singing in a choir. Well, this is the year we’re all going to do it. Not perfectly. Not full time. Maybe just once a month. But we’re going to start somewhere.
While I’m not necessarily an expert in creating art, I am certainly an expert in procrastinating about creating art, so I figured I might be the perfect person to write about making this promise to yourself. Plus, writing about it publicly will help keep me accountable so I can’t escape and pretend like I never made this promise to myself. (And you can hold me to that! If you run into me on the street, I give you my full permission to interrogate me and ask if I’m keeping my resolution!)
I’m not an expert at creating art, but I am an expert in procrastinating about creating art.
I grew up painting, but I completely abandoned it once I moved to LA to pursue an acting career. I even had a partial art scholarship, but I decided there simply wasn’t time for me to be the kind of painter I expected myself to be. So instead of dabbling here and there in something that brings me a great deal of joy, I’ve given it up all together. I miss the days of getting my hands dirty and gleefully covering my old jeans with paint splatters. I miss that feeling of losing all sense of time because I’m so immersed in the act of creation.
Do this exercise with me right now:
1. Think quickly about the one creative thing you have really, really, really been wanting to do. (It’s probably the very first thing that pops into your mind).
2. Write it down.
3. Now figure out what you will sacrifice to work it into your life. It could be a Saturday once a month, it could be 10 minutes of sleep every morning. This is the most important step, because unless you get specific about how to work it into your already too-full schedule, it’s extraordinarily easy to fall back on that tired old excuse, “I just don’t have time.”
4. Decide what kind of help you need in order to make this happen for yourself, and start taking the steps. Write the email to your mother-in-law to watch your kids. Order the how-to book from Amazon. Pencil a trip to the craft store into your schedule so you have all the materials you’ll need.
Hey, look at that, you’re on your way to making something beautiful this year!
Here are some great links to inspire you to get all creative up in your houzz:
- Check out this NPR article about an inspiring choir start-up.
- No matter what art medium you’re drawn to, consider picking up a copy of The Artist’s Way and committing to the exercises to help you jumpstart the passion of your inner artist.
- Spend time perusing our own Danielle Krysa‘s contemporary art blog, The Jealous Curator, to gather ideas. Take it a step further by signing up for one of her Girl Crush gatherings!
In case you’re wondering, these photos aren’t from my personal art studio. (How I wish!) In my dream world I have a lovely art studio like this one in Ojai, but the reality is most of us have to work with our kitchen table, or the floor next to our bed, or a splintery and weathered picnic table on an apartment balcony. Don’t let that stop you! Whenever I feel spatially challenged, I think of Christian Siriano starting his fashion empire out of his closet-sized New York bedroom — if he can ‘make it work,’ so can we.
Keep us posted on your progress!
This month, we’re serving up bite-sized advice from experts in different fields to help us all make life a little brighter, more creative and more efficient for 2013. Think of this month as a chance to connect with yourself on a deeper level, get closer to what makes you happy, and take control of the balance in ‘work-life balance’ for yourself this year.