I finished my first sketchbook of the year last weekend. Three months it took! Outside of travel journals, that’s the fastest I have ever filled a sketchbook. I’m pretty pleased with that effort, even if I do say so myself! (I’ll record a flip through at some stage. It is fun looking at the whole thing as a complete entity and not just disjointed snaps!)
Three months….the first quarter of the year has disappearedÂ already and I find myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of work and life and not taking the time to draw as much as I feel I need to (ironic, I know, given I was just rabbiting on about how quickly I filled the book). It has been bothering me. I knew my energies were being expended elsewhere, but I didn’t make the connection, and then I found this quote inÂ Austin Kleon’s fabulous book,Â Steal like an Artist:
Establishing and keeping a routine can be even more important than having a lot of time. Inertia is the death of creativity. You have to stay in the groove. When you get out of the groove, you start to dread the work, because you know it’s going to suck for a while – it’s going to suck until you get back into the flow….The trick is to find a day job that pays decently, doesn’t make you want to vomit, and leaves you with enough energy to make things in your spare time.
I let myself get out of the groove a bit in the last couple of weeks as my day jobÂ has become busier, and I can feel it in my diminished general satisfaction-with-life levels. So tired when I get home from work at the end of the day, thinking about what to draw takes too much effort! Funny how not creating things can lead to me feeling a bit rubbish. Suffice it to say I am working at putting pen to paper each day again…even if the output is not stellar.
The purple hand above is my favourite out of this week’s pages. Hands are such hard workers – from intricate little nuanced movements to grand gestures and manual labour. They are fun to draw … lots of wrinkles and folds – an ever changing landscape of hills and valleys as you wiggleÂ them about.
If you want to take a look at what else I’ve drawn this week you can take a look HERE or HERE.
How do you manage your energy across your day/week? I know it’s swings and roundabouts, but I wonder if I can get more control over it all? If I figure it out I will let you know.
(images via: light stalking)
These are the eyes of a jumping spider. Irridescent. Mesmerising. Stunning aren’t they? Also…who knew they were furry little critters?
More often than not I rushÂ to get through my days and I don’t see much more than a blur of the world around me as it passes by. It seems to be par for the course at this stage of my life, but the problem is that it can make life seem tiresome and monotonous at times.
It’s only when I slow down and take the time to take in the details that I am overwhelmed by the beauty of the world around me. It is then that my energy returns. None of the things that I need to do each day disappears, but I seem to have more patience to deal with them.
Little details that turn a scary spider into something that looks like a plush toy.
Little details that make me smile.
Little details that make me want to pick up my pencils and draw in an attempt to capture that magic on the page.
Little details that inspire me to action.
How do you let beauty fuel your days? Do you experience more creative moments when you stop long enough to feel the velvet petals on a rose in your garden or gaze into the eyes of a little spider?
I do… just need to do it a little more intentionally 🙂
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Last week I wrote about having a rotten case of artist’s block, and I’ve been thinking over it this week. If Steve Jobs was correct when he said that creativity is about connecting dots, then perhaps I am in a phase where I am collecting the dots to be able to join them up later.
My intake activities have been all consuming these past couple of months. I’ve been reading a lot of books … everything from biographies to novels to brain chemistry texts. I’ve been travelling and visiting new places. I’ve made new friends and experienced new things. I’ve been spending lots of time in nature. I’ve been watching TED talks and seeking out new information to feed my brain and my inner child whoÂ is waiting patiently until it’s time to create freely again.
I seem to be in a phase of collecting dots … random pieces of seemingly disparate information … I wonder what sort of picture I’ll end up with when it’s time to start connecting them all up?
How do you fuel your creativity? How do you gather the raw mental materials that light your creative fire?
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Creativity is intelligence having fun
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â – Albert Einstein