• The Adventuring Artist

Making Art. The Space can make it or break it.

I have to tell you, making art is hard. No matter the medium, painting, drawing, writing, singing. It's hard work. But we do it because we love it.

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do” Edgar Degas

And like anything else, sometimes you just need some motivation to get started, something to get those creative juices, or waters...or whatever, flowing. But that can be hard. You can sit and stare at that blank page for hours and nothing will come to you. Or you will put down a thousand different things but not a single one looks right. You write down "I am a failure" in rows and rows. Or you suddenly realize that you have forgotten what a bird looks like.

It's just the way the world works, or the cookie crumbles or ... I can't think of another expression but you get the idea.

I have a friend who writes every single day. He is an author for a living and somehow he keeps with it. His work never really wanes, and even if what he put down is not perfect, he at least put down something. So, frustrated with my lack of motivation and creativity I asked him how he does it.

He explained how every day he gets up and 4 AM (4 AM!!) and goes to a coffee shop in town. He orders the same dark roast coffee and scone every day then settles into a little corner seat next to an outlet and a window. And he writes.

That doesn't seem very helpful, does it? doesn't seem to really answer my question either. Sure you go sit somewhere and you work, but how?

Then he explained that after doing this for years his brain has come to associate that little corner seat in the coffee shop as his work space. Now as soon as he sits down his mind enters a working mind space. His brain knows that this is a place and time meant for work.

So if you are having trouble getting into the groove of things then give this a try. Find a spot and make it yours. It is your spot to work and be creative in whatever way you need to.

It can be a coffee shop, the library, your desk or a corner in your living room. Say to yourself, this is my art spot, this is where I work and convince your brain that it needs to wake up and get thinking.

This does not mean that you cannot go to other places. It is a good idea to get up and spice things up once in a while. Go outside, try a new cafe or something. But having that one specific workstation can definitely help get the ball rolling.

I personally have two spots that are my go-to. My desk, which is great when I am working on bigger projects because that is where all of my art supplies are. It has a clean open space, free from (most...OK, some) distractions. So if I am doing a large painting or something I intend to sell this is my perfect place.

And my other is at a local cafe. There is this perfect seat with a plug-in, a comfy seat and plenty of sunlight. This is usually where I do my sketches and just try to get ideas down on the paper. I make a rule that I have to fill at least two full pages with sketches before I can take a break.

So don't feel limited. Maybe have two or three "art places" that are designated to different types of work.

Just make sure to pick one that works for you. Do you need quiet? then staying home or going to the library will probably be best. Do you prefer the bustle of people or people watching, then a cafe is a good choice. Do you need the sun and the sky? Try a park bench.

If you have a specific art space let me know in the comments!

Rebecca Adams

The Adventuring Artist

Have an art topic you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments!

Join me again next Monday for more hints on motivation and tips and tricks!


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