I’m still working on the nocturnal watercolor on yupo I mentioned in the last post, so stay tuned (or subscribe) for that coming soon…. In the meantime, I feel compelled to share a humorous, smart, thought-provoking essay on Why Procrastinators Procrastinate.
Are you in the Staller Club too? Do you wait till the eleventh hour to complete tasks with deadlines? Do you put off painting – even when you relish every little part of the art-making process – until AFTER you’ve emptied the dishwasher, folded all the laundry and completed errands to the post office, grocery store and dry cleaner?
The Affliction of Procrastination
And by the time you get back from the errands, it’s time to meet the refrigerator repair man, or make dinner, or pick the kids up from school, so another day goes by with no painting…. Does this sound familiar? Yeah, me too.
Read this two part essay by Tim Urban about the affliction of procrastination, and let me know what you think in the comments. You can also watch his TED talk on the same subject. While you’re reading/watching (go ahead, it won’t take long), I’ll see if I can wrestle my Instant Gratification Monkey ???? into a cage. 🙂
Strike While the Iron is Hot
The painting in this post was inspired by a snapshot taken on a trip to Italy a few years ago, but the experience is rejuvinated in my mind after last month’s trip to France. I’m incredibly fired up to paint images from the photos I snapped in Provence, and the carousel of ideas in my head is a little overwhelming.
I’m making lists, and trying to break the enormous monsoon of options into bite-sized tasks, and most important, I’m trying to move FAST while the ideas are all fresh, as recommended in this excellent essay: The Art of Momentum: Why your ideas need speed.
Similar glazing methods for the watercolor in this post are demonstrated in the above pen and ink watercolor tutorial video. You can also read this post about watercolor glazing.
Better Focus via Exercise
Along the same lines as the essay on wrangling procrastination, have a look at this post on staying focused on exercise goals from the Mayo Clinic. (Did I tell you I started exercising 6 days a week in January to improve my general health & mental focus in the studio?)
Studies show that sitting for long periods of time (like an artist does while painting for a few hours a day) may negatively affect your health, so if you’ve been reading this for awhile, let’s stand up, stretch arms above our heads, shake out each leg, wiggle our hips and take a deep breath, shall we?????????
Take the First Steps…
If procrastination is stopping you from making art, or it’s been a long while since you had time to paint or draw something in your sketchbook, I hope you’ll pull out your calendar, and plot a teeny little thirty minute or one hour slot in the next 48 hours to gift that time to yourself – just you and your art supplies.
Make it a date, hold it open on the schedule, and guard the time so you can re-kindle the love affair with making. You’re the only one who can make that move, because here’s the thing: Creative time is almost never given to us by someone else; you have to take it for yourself. It has to be your move. Reach for it now. ????
Rah-rahing for you, from way over here…
See you in the next post –
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.