In a recent podcast Anne Lamott was asked what writers should write about in the midst of our current crisis. I loved her answer: “write what you would like to come across.”
I think this is also good advice for visual artists. Lamott is telling us to remember our own needs as we think about our creative practice. There is only so much time you can spend in front of screens, whether you’re following the news or connecting with loved ones. At some point it is time to make art again.
Why is this so important? Creativity is a natural resource like the energy of the sun--it nurtures you. When the whole world is out of kilter, your art keeps you in touch with the core of yourself.
If you cannot leave the house, clear the dining room table or a space in the kitchen. Start by organizing your materials. You need to be able to see and touch your art. Perhaps you will decide to learn a new technique, or experiment with color or clay. Work on something that gives you pleasure. Make a simple plan, and then identify your first steps.
You don’t need hours or days in the studio. If you think you don’t have time, or even if you have too much time, start by spending 30 minutes a day making art. Sketch out ideas you will implement later. Gradually increase the time when it feels right.
You can share images with friends and followers, but you don’t have to. This art making is just for you. Build art back into your life so that it sustains you through difficult times.
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.