It’s that time of year when everything speeds up. Can it really be the middle of December? Somehow the holidays have already started, and your to-do list keeps growing.
The best advice I have for artists is to resist this pressure, and slow down. Creating art is a slow process at best, and sharing your art with the world doesn’t happen quickly. Give yourself permission to take the time you need.
What happens when you slow down? It’s the difference between driving on the highway vs. walking through the woods. Instead of the world rushing by your window, all of your senses are engaged. You see more, smell more, touch more, and feel more.
Even time itself starts to take on a different shape. When you slow down, time expands and contracts in interesting ways. What was urgent becomes important but not for right now. Sometimes you find new rhythms and patterns that open up time you didn’t think you had.
There’s even a Slow Art movement in the museum world. It started when Phyl Terry visited the Jewish Museum in New York and decided that he could have a deeper experience of art by spending the day looking at just two paintings. It’s now an annual event, on April 15, with over 1500 galleries and museums participating.
Your art practice might benefit from the same steady focus. When your mind is distracted you don’t go deep enough to create satisfying work. Even the process of marketing your art can benefit from a slowdown. Create meaningful relationships with fewer people in your audience. Have better conversations about your work with colleagues, collectors, curators, and gallerists.
Give yourself permission to go slow, and see what happens.
Happy Holidays! (I’m going to take a nap.)
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.