It’s no secret that I’m a fan of my daily art journal. A small blank canvas and a short chunk of time dedicated to letting my brain wander, my hands create + play without guardrails, rules or pressure. My goal is to do this daily, but let’s be honest, our days sometimes have other plans. A messy house, an urgent deadline, a sick kid - often there are things that interfere with my best laid plans of making.
In January, fresh off the holiday break with my daughter and eager to get back to the routine of work, school and life - I stepped away from my daily creating time. It wasn’t intentional. The relaxed pace of the holidays had left one too many things stacked on my to-do list that seemed more pressing.
One day, turned into two, turned into 15 or so. And the next thing I knew, starting back up seemed hard again. My mind made up the usual excuses we all have for any habit we’re seeking to start. Too busy, too messy, too blah, blah, blah. I found myself scrolling Instagram and Pinterest, jealous of all the other makers out there. Creating, painting, drawing, doing their thing. (I know, i know. I found time to scroll, but not time to create.)
My mood + creativity suffered too. Not having a safe space for me to create daily, with no expectations, nothing that had to be published, shared, presented put the pressure on the other creative work I do for a living. I felt rusty, self-conscious and a bit out of sorts. Not my best self.
The good news is, I know what to do when this happens. As a curious person, I overcommit often and get distracted from the things that bring me joy. That connect me to my center. That fuel me to help fuel others around me.
Some things that work for me_
I schedule it. I am a scheduler by nature. A hangover of a high-stress, high-demand job, I like to look out at the day and week ahead and know what to expect. I added daily making to my schedule. Slowly, at first, I restarted. 3 - 4 days / week. As I reconnected with the joy + purpose this practice brings me, the going got easier and I’m happy to report that I’m back to (mostly) daily making.
I outsourced inspiration. Nearly ALL of my work is rooted in creativity. As a writer, a strategist, a consultant and an artist - most days are full of building, researching and developing creative concepts. I was in a rut creatively when it came to my daily journals, feeling un-inspired in what I was making. Surrounded by many wonderful creatives, I turned to them to draw energy + inspiration from. I did a color exercise with my artist mom. I took a few classes, both online and at a local shop / studio. Connecting to fellow creatives and letting them lead + teach helped me to get back to the fun, removing a hurdle in just. getting. started.
I bought a new journal. I hate to admit, but yes, I’m one of those that can be found more frequently at the gym if I’ve just bought some new pants. I cook more with a new pan. And turns out, I paint more with a new, blank journal to fill up. New journal, refound love of making. Excited to fill my first one, I bought 5 more in bulk and have just kept going.
I share this with you because, I hear you. Making time for YOU. For art. For joy. For something that is just for fun. That’s hard? Really. I get it. Even as someone who spends her days writing about the benefits of a creative practice, I get lost sometimes too. But. I’m back. And I’m better for it.
Making a meal, drawing a doodle, having a silly dance party - these things are good for our souls, our brains, our bodies. Don’t believe me? See our very first post EVER, here touting all the many, many benefits.
Then come back and tell me, what’s keeping you from carving out your own creative practice? You see, I’m working on a book to help break down the barriers, remove the hurdles, just get you started. And I’d love to hear from you as I create!