Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Celebrate small successes

Last blog I talked about bridging , this being one studio technique/habit you can use to set yourself up to work on your painting regularly. If you went ahead and tried this, or took any small step towards any of your 2008 goals, it’s important to celebrate your success.

Why celebrate? Giving yourself a small reward for the step you just took in the direction of your goal is important because we are training our brains and our beings to form new habits and the reward is a positive re-enforcement to keep us going.

Let’s face it, if you go and paint for 5 minutes today you may not have someone patting you on your back saying; “Way to go!” or “Your painting is fantastic” or “ I’m sooo glad you took some time out to pursue your creative dream”. You may not have a lot of initial support around you, so it’s important that you became your own cheering squad. Therefore, giving ourselves positive feedback for this small step we took towards our goal will help us feel good about what we did so that we will do it again and form a new habit.

In the long run we hope that the doing the thing itself (in this case painting) is the reward in itself. I can say for me that being in creative process is reward in itself. However, even though I am totally passionate about my art and paint often ---sometimes there are things that come up – procrastination, resistance, life busy stuff, etc – that keep me away from the studio and my art and hence this is why, in the course of this blog, I am presenting you tricks and habits I've learned that I use to overcome this blocks.

Hence, the key is to reward yourself when you do *it, especially when you are starting out and forming this new habit!

*it= paint, take 5 minutes to write your book, make a small step towards one of your goals.

Here are some small ways that I reward myself for taking small steps towards my 2008 goals:

  • Jump up and down and say YES! YES! YES! I rock!
  • Light an aromatherapy candle
  • Soak my feet in a foot tub with salt
  • Read a chapter of a novel (just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love and Shantaram – both were excellent)
  • Walk up the street to the local stream and wooded area and sit on the bench by the stream
  • Jump around the rocks on the stream
  • Make a hot chai tea with honey and half&half
  • Dance to music
  • Eat a piece of chocolate. Current favourite – Dove Chocolate !
  • Collage in my journal – glue in …quotes from tea bags, pictures of art, inspiring words of messages, postcards, nature scenes.
  • Add images to my art image journal
  • Read one of my artist magazine and cut out images and stick them into my journal (in December I subscribed to Art News, American Artist, and Modern Painters . So far I like Art News the best for images of abstract art.)

And these are some big ways that I reward myself for taking small steps towards (yes, I still did intend to say small step, however sometimes it's good to mix it up a bit and give yourself a jack pot. ) my goals:

  • Walk by the beach
  • Get a cup of Yerba Matte at Lazy Acres Market (they m ake the best!)
  • Get a massage
  • Get a smoothie
  • Get a Raiki treatement
  • Get a sandwich at Lazy Acres Market – such a treat!
  • Go to the gym and hot tub or sauna
  • Get some new stickers for m y journal
  • Buy a new journal or book (When I finish my marketing plan, I’m looking at treating
  • myself to a new image journal from this Leather Journal online store)
  • Get a hair cut
  • Manicure/Pedicure

I’d love to hear how you reward yourself for the small steps you are taking towards making your creative dreams become real life daily habit and ritual.


Art Never Sleeps said...

Well, I took your advice today. And I did what you do. This morning I...
+Jumped up and down and said YES! YES! YES! I rock!
+Light an aromatherapy candle
+Soak my feet in a foot tub with salt
+Read a chapter of a novel
+Walked up the street to the local stream and wooded area and sit on the bench by the stream (hard to do in Phoenix!)
+Jump around the rocks on the stream
+Make a hot chai tea with honey and half&half
+Dance to music (in my case some great 80s music)
+Eat a piece of chocolate. No chocolate in the house so I ate a pint of Ben and Jerrys!
+Collage in my journal
+Add images to my art image journal
+Read one of my artist magazines and cut out images and stick them into my journal.

When I got all done, I realized I was late for work, didn't have time to paint, and I was exhausted. The last thing on your list should be "take a nap". haha

But as I reflected on my experience, I realized that you probably meant to do one of those things at a time and not all on the same day. Right?


Art Never Sleeps said...

"I’d love to hear how you reward yourself for the small steps you are taking towards making your creative dreams become real life daily habit and ritual."

Actually, for me doing the small steps are reward enough. This morning, for example, I painted maybe 5 minutes total, but I'm greatly satisfied I did that. and that glow will last the day.

If I didn't paint this morning, I would have been even grouchier than normal.

Art Never Sleeps said...

I have several thoughts about reading art magazines.

First, I have never found a real art magazine that reflects the type of content I'm looking for. After you cut away the endless ads and the so-called critics, what do you have left? Not much.

Second, as artists we are all influenced by other artists, but I try to keep that influence to a minimum. Thus, I don't read art magazines.

My personal experience has taught me that my best ideas come from the heart and I totally believe God is providing ideas and/or directions for my art. And that inspiration is what works best for me and other people notice that in my work.

I have several interesting stories to illustrate, but I will just give you one.

When I was doing professional photography I covered the walls of my studio/home with about 20 11x14 black and white prints. All were framed and matted the same. About half of the pics were based on images/photos I saw in magazines done by other photographers. And the other half of the photos hanging on my walls were my images exclusively...using my own eye, coming from my own heart, reflecting my creative vision.

100% of the time, when clients remarked about the photos, they ALL liked my exclusive photos the best. They all seemed to sense which images came from deep inside me and were not inspired by a magazine or something (even though they were excellently done).

I do not want to be influenced by other artists. I don't need to know their techniques. I have all I need inside of me right now.

Third, I have flipped thru countless art magazines over the years and I'm always left with this thought...their pages are for the most part uninteresting and filled with crap.

You have inside of you right now everything you need to create art. And your higher power or God or whatever name you use will provide the channel to great creative ideas. Ditch those over priced mags and look within and above.

Read less and explore more.