Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ten Tips to Inspire Your Art Practice

I find the practice of yoga to be very parallel to the practice of art. Today (while cleaning in my studio) I stumbled upon a card bearing ten tips to inspire a yoga practice, and felt this overwhelming urge to read the list with art in mind. So I present my adapted list:

  1. Start small. Make an attainable commitment to add something more and stick to it. Soon that small, regular commitment will expand as you realize how good it feels.
  2. Make art with friends. Artistic energy increases by resonance. Connecting via the internet and blogging is a good, in person is even better.
  3. Shake up your routine with a new medium. Try watercolor or encaustic, fabric or metal or glass, collage or sculpture.
  4. Buy new art materials. Everybody knows the thrill of a new toy! Important: buy it and USE it!
  5. Read a new art book. I admit to going overboard on this one. I love reading books in all sorts of media, looking at the shapes and colors in the images, poring over the process for a new trick.
  6. Take a workshop. Try something just for fun. Give yourself permission to play and not think about the product.
  7. Challenge yourself. Many artists love group challenges, but this can be a personal challenge as well. Work with a color you hate; do five similar pieces side by side with variation; work as fast as possible to silence the critic...
  8. Play music that inspires you in the studio in your home or car. Especially if you have a routine, this can get your brain to that place of saying "time for art."
  9. Immerse yourself. Carve out a big block of time: turn off the phone, send the kids off with your spouse, lay in a stock of no-cook food, and vow to do nothing but art for the duration.
  10. Remember why you do art in the first place! Our well-being depends upon it!