Making Time: Tackling Barriers to Creative Habits

Countless things throughout the day can find their way between us and the pages of our sketchbooks. A stressful job, chronic pain issues, health limitations, or other challenges can cause a lack of physical or mental energy to motivate yourself to create a habit of regularly sketching. Whether it’s the monkey chattering in your mind or the TV that’s calling you, sometimes opening your sketchbook or uncapping the pen is a real struggle! How do YOU deal with these obstacles and push yourself to get your art supplies out anyway?
Here are some suggestions from the Sketchbook Skool community on how to nurture your creative habits by making drawing a part of your day EVERY day:
1. Make sure to have paper and pen everywhere (even in the restroom, so you always have sketching gear within reach). Make a simple doodle while on the phone, then make more elaborate drawings on days you have more energy. Don’t feel guilty if you commit yourself to doing a drawing a day and then miss one.
2. Allow yourself to crash on the couch after work. Have a basket with your art supplies right next to the couch so everything you need is within reach.
3. No need to do a brilliant work of art every day. Just a two minute drawing can help to start (and keep) a habit. All those few-minute sketches can and will add up to a lot of fun minutes!
4. Try to remember how much better you feel when you draw. No one ever sat down and felt worse after making a drawing.
5. Perfect is the enemy of good. Just do it! Your skills will slowly improve even if you can’t make a perfect effort every single time.
6. Keep a small sketchbook and a pen in your backpack or purse. If you’re in line somewhere during the day, pull your sketchbook out and draw. It prevents boredom from the wait AND it yields sketching time.
7. Making art, even in short intervals of time, can make you concentrate just on what’s in front of you and not your pain or stress. It is a wonderful diversion.
8. Draw while you have your coffee in the morning or while waiting for the tea kettle to boil. You will find it is a wonderful way to start the day.
9. Think of sketching as a mini-vacation from reality. When returning to reality, it seems to be slightly improved, because your focus is different for a little while.
10. Do what life allows. That’s all you can do. Energy comes from doing what makes you happy!
11. Pick the low hanging fruit. Make it as easy as possible to draw from the couch with easy supplies (a pencil or pen), a small sketchbook and whatever is at hand to draw (your legs and feet or a character in a TV show).
12. Save the more challenging subjects, techniques, or assignments for a day off or less busy time of day when your environment is a bit calmer.
13. Don’t pull out your entire toolbox or studio. All you need is pen and paper.
14. Make yourself comfortable. Whether it is at the kitchen table or a cozy spot on the couch with a lap-desk or clipboard.
15. Give it a few minutes of time before you decide to go through with a drawing or scrap it if you aren’t “feeling it.” The concentration and meditative state of mind drawing produces can push away the fatigue, pain, or anything else that is troubling you. Creating art is one of the most healing gifts.
16. Don’t forget that drawing is fun and relaxing, not a chore.
Do you have any other tips to share?

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