There is a guy across the street from my apartment who rides his bike every day. I can tell the time by him because he goes out to ride at 12 pm every day, during his lunch break it seems. He’s been doing this for months now, since the start of the Pandemic, and…he hasn’t stopped. I must say, his consistency is inspiring. I half expected him to fall off the wagon months ago, maybe because I thought he may be doing this because he can’t go to the gym because of quarantine, but quarantine ended months ago, and, he’s still at it. I am inspired by this guy, not to ride my bike everyday, but to do something consistently, every day and to publicly do so, like he did, to encourage others to do the same.
While I struggle with being consistent, I want to be better at not starting a project and then stopping for long periods of time. It’s why I’ve been trying daily challenges to draw or paint, just to develop some kind of consistency. However, in order to do these daily challenges, I still need some inspiration that makes it worth it, in the short-term at least. The subject matter needs to be interesting, or the process somewhat fun or just seeing the growth day to day. Routine may feel boring, but it is achieving a far more necessary growth, skill development and peace of mind.
I look at other artists who do really great work and more than likely, I discover that they developed a habit of drawing or painting daily to stay consistent and to keep their skills ‘well oiled’. I have to admit, I am so bad at that. By the time I finally sit down to paint after a long break of not painting (sometimes a week or more ….eeeek!!), I feel soooo rusty as if I had never painted in my life! Trust me, it’s not the greatest feeling. But, once I start warming up, my hands start to move smoothly over the page, my brush strokes and pencil marks aren’t as stiff, and it all starts coming back. I can’t say it’s like “riding a bike” because (shamefully hides my face in my hands), I can’t ride a bike and I don’t know what that muscle memory feels like, but for most of you who possibly ride bikes or something you’ve done so much, your mind and muscles align to bring about a sequence of movements almost naturally, you would say.
I’m trying to promise myself not to fall off the wagon of drawing daily even if it’s a small thing and not a masterpiece….but I’m that person that will do 4 or 5 paintings in one day, then stop for a week. Maybe it’s the way I work, but after a productive day of 4 to 5 paintings, I kind of set the bar too high for myself for the other days when number 1, it’s a regular workday not a weekend and number 2, I’m just quite honestly, not motivated or inspired to make anything. So, I’m looking to communities like Creativebug to get some motivation and inspiration to try something for 30 days. They have a Daily Practice section. The most recent Daily Practice I’ve gotten inspired by and want to try is Charlotte Hamilton’s Daily Portrait Challlenge : 31 Days of Faces link here and Courtney Cerruti’s Living a More creative Life : 30 ways in 30 days link here. I look at all the days in one go and then I pick out the things I want to try. Might be considered skipping, but I’m looking for inspiring ideas to take on for a few days at a time, so there may be one particular technique or style I want to try and maybe I’ll do it for a few days then move on to a different technique for another few days. I guess that works for me. As long as I’m consistent with making art and trying techniques, then I am satisfied 😊. Even mixing colors is an artistic activity and is good for the days I really don’t feel like making anything.
Maybe there is something you have been wanting to do too. Something you need to do every day in order to improve, feel better, gain a new skill or whatever it is. Whether it’s a daily challenge to draw, journal, take your vitamins, do yoga, read, join me in a daily habit of your own. And, if you want to share that you’ve done a daily challenge in the past, or about to do one, please share with me and maybe give me some tips!
Wish me luck on this consistency journey and hopefully there are some pieces that I will share in the process!
You are wonderfully made!
All works are Copyright (c) 2023 Simone Elum. All rights reserved. Any illegal reproduction of artwork and photographs will result in immediate legal action.