Pushing away from familiar and establishing a new creative habit

Girl with flowers

     It is said that it takes 2 to 8 months to form a new behavior. We are fond of routine by nature.Girl with flowers

     I have been painting faces for years now.  I have purchased several online tutorials on the “art of painting a face”, and I am happy with my work.  But recently I have fallen in love with the work of different illustrators such as Ketto, and Lady Sybile, and I am wanting to take my work to the next level. But when I begin to draw, I always revert to what I already know.

     After a few frustrating attempts to alter the art that I create, I began to consider the process of creating art to that of habits.  My way of making my art and the subjects that I use in my art are like my old habits; it has become rote, and routine.

     So if my artwork has become habit, then to push myself to create differently, I can approach the problem as an effort to introduce a new habit into my artistic process.

     I started looking online for information on how to successfully create a new habit. There are a lot of great articles out there, and I extracted a few common ideas from a couple that I thought applied.  Below I’ve included the steps that I am going to use to help me create new artistic habits and to improve my work.  I thought I would share these points with you in hopes that it may help you step outside your routine and try something new.

 Relax and have fun

     The first step is to relax.  Really, I need to  relax.  Creating art is about enjoying the experience and if I’m not having fun eventually I will stop making art.

     If you find yourself going back to old routine, then just run with it.  In the end you still end up with a beautiful piece, and you’ve spent the time doing what you love.

Start simple

     There were two articles that stood out for me during my research.  In both articles the author discussed the importance of not over-complicating a new habit.  Start by making small changes and gradually work your way up.

     The other point that was made was that you can try chaining a new habit onto an existing habit. Instead of trying to create something completely new, why not try adding something new to your existing subject?  How about adding just a small detail to your art that you usually create?

     I was thinking, for example, I want to create figures in different poses and fashions rather than my usual “face” painting.  I could start by simply adding a hat to my face painting to add something simple.  I could then chain on a more advanced change by including the top half of a figure in my painting.  Starting small and slowing adding to my process to reach my end goal.

Work outside of your journal

My biggest hang-up is my fear of making something ugly in my art journal.  I struggle with allowing my journal to be a place to explore.  I want every spread to be just right.  This is probably what prevents me from trying something new the most.  So for now, my art journal is going to be put away.

    If you are like me, use a practice journal or loose paper to sketch out new subjects and try new techniques.  This way you are not worried about adding something you don’t feel good about in your art journal.

     I am going to try these steps in the next while as I try to push myself to grow as an artist.  I’ll keep you posted to my progress.

     Do you have any advice on how to help make changes to the way you make art?  Have you had a similar experience when you went to change your subjects or techniques in your art? Please leave a comment and share your lessons.  We would love to hear from you.

    Have a great week!

The two articles that I used

James Clear

Gregory Ciotti

2 Replies to “Pushing away from familiar and establishing a new creative habit”

  1. Love your ideas Cathy and Leisanne. They are helpful and inspiring.

    When I write an email I try to remember to cc myself. This way I have a journal entry done with things that have been going on in my life.
    If I receive an email with family history information I have journal and family history, a double gift……just a thought.

    1. What a good idea Kathy. This would really help our memory keeping. Thank you for your kind comments. I hope you will take part in our Facebook group. Take care, and keep writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *