In today’s art podcast we are going to talk about how to get back on track with your art after taking a break. And we thought this would be quite a good episode to do at this time of year, because like a lot of people, we took a break over Christmas, and it took us a while to get back into the swing of things.
This podcast is sponsored by Evolve. Evolve can teach anyone how to paint in a realism style to a professional level in a year. They offer online lessons, support and also provide the materials you need. To find out more sign up for a free masterclass at https://kickinthecreatives.com/evolvewebinar
You could try flicking through to get inspired again. I like to bookmark things I see in art books or make myself a note prompt based on inspiration from the book.
You could also try watching some art videos for inspiration, just be careful not to get dragged down the rabbit hole of consuming hours of videos without creating anything, it’s easily done
Make a schedule
It’s a really good idea to make a schedule and put specific time aside just to do your thing. But, when you’ve had time away, it’s hard to just leap back in feet first and pick up where you left off. So, be realistic. Set aside time that you know is doable, so you’re not setting yourself up for failure.
Also, being held accountable is helpful. You could announce online what your intentions are. For some reason when we do that we assume that everyone is waiting to see if we do what we say we’re going to do, even if the reality is that nobody actually cares!
Otherwise, maybe you have a friend who also wants to get back into something. You could team up and agree to check in to make sure you’re sticking to it. And they don’t even have to be doing the same thing. They might want to do some exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be art! But just knowing you’re being held accountable that can really help.
Set yourself tiny goals
Maybe that’s just to spend 5 minutes a day with your sketchbook. Small goals means you are less likely to stick with them. Often the hardest thing is starting. Once you have started you might find you want to do more, but if not that’s ok too.
Commit to a challenge
Try finding a challenge to do something you had always meant to do or wanted to try. Doing a challenge alongside other people can help with the momentum. If you can’t find a challenge that’s right for you then make your own. Stating what you are doing online helps you be more accountable.
Start with something easy
They say use it or lose it so you’re bound to feel a bit rusty if you’ve done anything for a few weeks. So to start with just do some really simple exercises. Nothing too taxing! You might just need to brush up on the basics for a week or so to get you, and your juices flowing again
Don’t be precious with your drawing
To start with, use a cheap sketchbook. If you do that, then you are less likely to feel precious about your drawing. I’ve actually got an old unused roll of wallpaper under my desk, which is great when I just want to do something and not care, just to warm up. the paper is virtually endless and I can scribble away and not worry about how much the paper is costing! It’s actually a roll of wallpaper that Paul had put in the skip, and I nabbed it before they came to collect it!
Start small and build up a creative habit
So the first week you might spend 5 or 10 minutes doing blind contours or non-dominant hand drawings to keep things loose and get rid of expectations. Then the next week you could build up to 15 minute sketches.
Remember to give yourself permission to play
Don’t feel like you have to keep doing exactly the same thing all the time. I decided that I am going to try and make a day a week to experiment. I love my style but kept feeling like I was missing out. This way I get to play and who knows I might discover something to inject into my current work.
Once you find yourself, getting slowly back into a habit, start to increase the time you put in. So if you started with five minutes a day, go up to 15. Nothing too sharp! Then, again, a couple of weeks later, you could up it again until you are doing what you did before you took a break.
Prepare what you are going to do the night before
A really good way to save yourself some time is to prepare what you are going to do the night before. The problem with getting up in the morning and sitting down to work with nothing in mind before you start is that you can spend a good chunk of time just trying to figure out what you’re going to draw.
So wherever you can, have a think the day before what you’re going to do and that means you get far more time actually doing, than just thinking about what you’re going to do.
It’s quite a good idea to have an Inspiration folder whether that’s digital or otherwise. that way, you’ll always have something to draw when you run out of ideas.
Make it fun
You’re far more likely to show up and stay for longer than you planned if you are treating it like a bit of playtime.
Use a small sketchbook
One way for making sure your art doesn’t take too long is to use a small sketchbook. That way there is no room for detail. You might also use one with not too many pages so you can pat yourself on the back when you fill it up
Try a new art material
Is there a new art material you always fancied trying? Go for it, it could lead you in new directions, or at the least be great fun.
Take an art course
Another great way to get your creative juices going is to take a course. This can get you thinking in new ways about your work.
And just in case you fancy creating some fun cartoon characters, check out our course at https://kickinthecreatives.com/cartooncourse
For example, if you decide to take part in a month-long challenge, you’re more likely to stick to it if you have promised yourself that art book you always wanted as a reward for completing it!
It doesn’t even have to be something like that. It might just be a doughnut!
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This week’s creative question
Q. If you could go on a painting or sketching holiday, where would you go, and why?
The best answers will be read out on a future podcast.
You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the Facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.
If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.