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A Daily Creative Practice, Tips for Success

Artists and designers from across disciplines often have something in common, a daily creative practice. It makes sense. Art takes work, practice, and most of all, time. Whether you make art for your job, your hobby, or your side hustle, the need to create is competing for your time with everything else in your life. Yet, it can be hard to make the time for it. In our fast paced life, it can feel indulgent to spend time not being “busy” but instead quietly creating. As a result, our art often is something we do “if we have time” instead of giving it the time it deserves.

Looking for a push to get your started? You’re in luck! We’ve rounded up tips from some artists we love.

Daily Creative Practice, 10 tips for success:

  1. Show up!
    No good work is ever going to happen if you don’t sit down and start working. Yet, getting started can be the hardest part. First, decide how much time you want to dedicate to your practice each day. Start with an amount of time that is achievable! Maybe that’s only 15 minutes, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to dedicate a lot of time, just make a plan.

  2. Make boundaries around your time.
    No one is going to respect your time if you don’t respect it. Put boundaries around the time you are going to devote to your practice and get working. Likewise, expect other people to respect that time too.

  3. Focus on the process, not necessarily the outcome.
    Think of your daily practice as creating a habit, more than creating a masterpiece. First, focus on the doing and not the end product. Think of this time’s only purpose as getting yourself to pick up your tools and get started.

  4. Push yourself to keep learning.
    Whether you want to learn a new skill or improve at one, keep learning more. Learning a new skill improves memory, productivity and creativity. Push yourself to learn something not related to your job or art practice at all. You’ll be surprised by what a positive impact it can have on your work.

  5. Find your people & share your work.
    Get together with people you trust to create together, share your work, and witness each other’s progress. It’s hard to create in a vacuum, we all need a second set of eyes sometimes or an outside opinion. While our family and close friends can be great to share with, they want to love and support you. So find people who are willing to give you good feedback and for whom you can do the same.

  6. Decide to be a creator & not a consumer.
    We make small decisions all day about how we spend our time, money and energy. And what we decide is important. Do you want to scroll through your phone looking at other people’s work, or make your own? Do you want to spend money buying more stuff or making something? Obviously there is a time and place for both. Yet, try to be aware of these choices and make ones you feel good about.

  7. Practice your craft.
    It takes time and practice to master a skill. No one wakes up and decides to run a marathon. Similarly, creativity is a muscle that gets stronger with time and practice. Commit yourself to getting good at the technical skills required of your art. The more you master the technical skills, the more you can push boundaries.

  8. Give yourself the environment your work deserves.
    Everyone deserves a good environment. To make good work happen you need the space and tools you require. For example, if you need to go searching through drawers every time you need a pencil sharpener, you won’t get much drawing done. Most importantly, your space should be in a state that helps you work, rather than hinders it. In addition, take the time to organize your tools, so they are ready to do your best work.

  9. Keep good records. 
    Sometimes projects never quite come together, but they might contain a spark that leads to another idea. Keep records as you work so you can remember what you’re doing along the way. In addition to taking notes about what is working, write down what went wrong or what you wish you’d done differently.

  10. Observe and let yourself experience life.
    Some of the best art in human history has come out of humanity’s need to communicate our experiences. Even though social media makes it easy, remember that you don’t need to be communicating your experiences in realtime. Give yourself permission to just live. Record your observations, absorb what is happening around you and be kind to yourself. Above all, let your feelings evolve and percolate. When you’re ready, make your art.

What about you?

To sum up, we think having a daily creative practice can be so beneficial to your work. But not just to your work, it can also be beneficial to your well being. What keeps you focused on creating? Let us know in the comments or tag us on Instagram.

Photo credit: Brittanny Taylor

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. She writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving on her Macomber loom, standing over a vat of indigo dye or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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