In my last blog post I suggested that the arrival of a new year gave artists the opportunity to find new ways of working. This often means building structure into your art practice.
This is a challenge because most systems of organization feel alien to artists. It is difficult to fit a creative life into a spreadsheet. If linear processes tend to paralyze you, try to find another way to get organized.
Instead of making a list, choose a mantra. This is a word or phrase, and sometimes an image, that guides your behavior through the ups and downs of a day or a week.
My own mantra right now is: “Shape the Day, Every Day”
These five words are on post-its all over my house and on my screens. Every morning my mantra asks me to think about the overall shape of my day. When I am stuck, I return to this advice.
Sometimes “shape the day” means doing all the hard work first. On other days it means finding inspiration before I begin. The phrase reminds me that I am in charge of how my day unfolds, no matter what is going on in the world or in my own life.
How you shape your day depends on your commitments, of course. You have responsibilities to others, as well as regular work time. But when you put yourself in charge of shaping the day, you acknowledge your own needs. You may need comfort, stimulation, or connection, or simply time for yourself.
Borrow my mantra or find a phrase that inspires you. Keep it visible in your studio or other workspace. After a few weeks, look back to discover what has changed in the rhythm of your days.
Welcome to the New Year!
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.