I have been doing lots of drawing and painting this year. Subjects have varied as the years progressed. It started with a fascination for portraits which I captured in clay and paint. This then progressed to the natural world, which I was probably craving more of due to lockdown and realised when I had a two week holiday in Cornwall and created some landscape paintings. Finally to animals due to hatching some chicks.
This is a sketch of Uno, a silkie bantam chick, from our most un-succesful hatching. We had six eggs in the incubator but only Uno hatched. A quick trip to the wildfowl trust to purchase 2 more silkies meant Uno was not alone for long. We still do not know if Uno is male or female. His/her 2 friends are white silkie’s called Ice and Ivory. I try to name the chicks colour names, but am running out of colours.
Trying to remain focused and motivated to create can be hard at times. I am finding that I have to dig deep to find that inner drive, to switch off the news and the distracting thoughts to spend time in my sketchbook, as I know it will serve my health well if I do. If you are experiencing similar difficulties I wanted to share some pointers that I have used to overcome these blocks:
Release those social media binds
Taking time off social media. Social media experts talk about how important it is to post regularly and to have a consistent theme, which I tried and can admit found quite exhausting. Then I listened to a You Tube video by Ergo Josh who gave a really good reason about not posting regularly and how it can make us Artists too focused on likes. He advised taking break and enjoying the process. Making for makings sake. I liked his advice and thought it was a refreshing change and that I would give it a go. The result was so liberating. I personally did not even realise that the regular posting was stifling my output as my subconscious was considering if what I was making would fit in with my social media feed. The video can be found here
With this new mindset I experimented in my sketchbook, feeling safe in the knowledge that what I did never had to be seen. It resulted in trying new techniques, materials and really enjoying the process. It was like returning to Art School, and I still have not returned to my social media with regular feeds, that was 3 months ago.
Personally I really recommend taking a break from social media occasionally and giving yourself some time to play, experiment without the constraints of thinking it has to be shared. The result can be some new ways of working and fun trying out new processes.
Committing to regular daily practice
Block out a regular time to create, it may be for just 5 minutes, but just committing to spending time each day is really good to form new routines and habits.