I hope you are all well.
I was not sure what I was going to write about this week so I went to take the dog for a walk and saw a muntjac deer sprint across my path and down the orchard I was walking in. It moved with such speed and grace and was gone in a flash, such fluid movement.
Getting Into The Zone
Then I looked back over my sketches for the week and it struck me that they are showing more grace and movement in them. Strokes are more fluid.
I also noticed that I was more in the ‘zone’ this week. I did not want to stop at just one drawing so some days I did 2 or 3. I usually have the TV on when I’m sketching as it’s usually after work when I do it and it was just background noise really, I was not really paying attention and normally I do.
I seem to have reached the stage now where if I don’t do it (there have only been 2 or 3 days I have missed) I don’t feel right. I feel like something is missing. Then it struck me, I had automated a sketching habit!
Getting Into The Zone & Building Habits
Things to remember when trying to build an art habit:
- Start small, don’t set a massive thing to do at the start, like ‘i’m going to do 10 sketches every day’, that will freak your mind out as you will wonder how on earth you will actually do it especially if you have a full time job or other commitments. It must be realistic, ‘I will do one sketch every day for a week/month’.
- Set yourself a specific time slot in the day to do it, a time that you know you will have free and can devote to it, even if it is just for 30 minutes. This will allow you to start to build it into your routine. For me I do my sketch everyday after I log off from my full time job. I get a cup of tea, set up my supplies around me, stick the telly on and start.
- Keep going even if you don’t feel like it. What I mean by this is just get your tools/supplies out if you feel tempted to skip or are a bit tired or feeling like ‘I can’t be bothered’ (that does happen ;-). Set the scene. It’s a bit like setting up your gym clothes the night before. You wake up not feeling like it but when you put them on in the morning you just get into the mood for it, you have put a foot in the zone and stand a much better chance of following through.
- Take it day by day. Rather than thinking how am I going to do this for a whole month/six months/year, just focus on today. We only have the present moment anyway, the past is gone and the future has not arrived yet.
- Rinse and repeat every day, like attracts like and the more you do it and the results you start to see will add momentum, and in those moments where the thought enters your mind ‘i’ll just skip today’ you will feel it inside your soul saying ‘nah, that’s not going to work, you won’t feel right with yourself if you skip’ and that feeling will spur you on. And when you get to that point ‘Congratulations’ you have built yourself a new habit :-) A good one that will serve you and your art well.
I hope you have found this useful and please let me know in the comments section. As always please see my Instagram account @zoebadgerart to see my sketches for the week.