Creativity and An Easy Way to Make Time for Art

You want to create art. You want to express yourself and make beautiful things. It’s as important as any other aspect of your life, because it is who you are. There’s a lot of pressure on us to prioritize our lives, to put other people first, to keep our living space immaculate, to have perfect nails. But when you have a project to create, you’ll find that the household things can fill your day quicker than you can say “domestic.”

Mixed-media art by Danielle Donaldson |
“This girl has a lot on her mind, literally and figuratively,” says Danielle Donaldson of her mixed-media piece above, Busy Girl. “She tells her story with such beautiful imagery. To one, she may be whispering stories of her love of nature. To another, she may be sighing as she reads her too long list of to-dos. To me, she says, ‘Danielle, you have no idea how many amazing ideas I have buzzing in my noggin right now. ‘Let’s play!’ What does she say to you? And if you could choose what to nest in her twisted-up locks, what would it be?”

I’ve been working on a writing project–a novel–for about two years now. My art pieces tend to go more quickly. I’ve found that the two–writing and art–are incredibly similar, and so I want to share with you how I’ve made time for this aspect of my creativity, and let it inspire you.

Like many of you, I have a life that sees little down time. Appointments, meetings . . . the list is a mile long. If I didn’t carve out an occasional hour to channel my creativity, I think I would burst at the seams. But I also don’t want to force myself to add yet another specific thing to be done at a specific time, so I decided to take things one day at a time. I have a novel to finish, and you have art to make. What’s more important? An hour for your art, or an hour for you-fill-in-the-blank? For me, watching television was the first to go. It’s rerun season anyway, so when I unexpectedly find a free window of time, I look at the clock, note the time, and commit to working/writing/editing for one hour. No Facebook. No phone. Just me and my project.

I’ve been shocked at how quickly the time flies, but also by how often this window has opened in the past few weeks. I began treating my creative outlet with as much respect as I treat my work. If you can work with focus and dedication for someone else, then you can do it for yourself and your art.

Of course, you don’t find motivation hiding under a rock. It’s important to keep reminders around us, whispering, Is now a good time to use your journal? Does the furniture really need to be dusted at this moment? In my house, I have inspiring quotes tacked to the wall of my studio space. Baskets of art materials sit, ready to be used. A shelf of inspirational books also lines one of my bookcases in my living room. I often pick up books randomly and flip through them to read favorite passages. One book that I’m looking forward to adding to my collection is creativeGIRL: Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life by Danielle Donaldson. In addition to providing tips on time management and art inspiration, Danielle’s book includes 30 drawing and painting techniques and projects to help you express yourself.

Remember, the furniture dust will always be there. Find that hour, and let your art find you.



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