For the past 6+ months, I’ve had a major case of “artist’s block”.
This is what inspired my journey through The Artist’s Way last October (more on this here, here and here), where I committed to extensive self-exploration for 12+ weeks, including daily morning pages (151 consecutive days, so far) and weekly artists dates.
And even though I learned a ton about my artistic self through this soul expanding process, I STILL wasn’t creating art, nothing, nada.
Determined to find a way back to art making, I pondered how I moved past previous artist blocks, and remembered what got me past the last one five years ago …
a 100-day art making challenge.
So even though I had no idea WHAT to create, and was a bit scared to start, I timidly walked into my studio on January 1 and started playing with whatever delighted my inner kid for at least one hour a day. To help me stay honest with my intention, I set the timer on my phone, creating until the buzzer went off, and then hitting the repeat button for another hour, and often another hour after that. And to make me super honest, I posted many of my daily art making sessions to Instagram Stories.
Art making was suddenly fun again, and I had moved past the block.
The result? During the first 31 days of the challenge, I averaged 2 hours a day, doubling my goal. Easy peasy.
Then I got a reality check in February with an overwhelming schedule, and missed a couple days. Rather than give up on the challenge, I made a slight “rule” revision to accommodate those enviable days when it is physically impossible to create. So now I am …
creating an average of one hour for 100 days.
So much more sane and doable. What I realized is that it’s not important that I create EVERY SINGLE DAY, but rather that I devote at least 100 hours to creating art within the 100 days.
Doodle I created during the first 30 days.
Now on Day 71 out of 100, I’ve spent 161+ heavenly hours creating so far, averaging more than 2 hours a day. Tracking my art making hours has become a major motivator to get into the studio, as if there is a coach on the sidelines cheering me on to create more and more. It has become a game to beat my original goal of one hour a day, and now that I’m at 2 hours+ a day, I’m shooting for 2.5 hours or even 3! With a little more focus, and saying no a bit more often, I should be able to create between 250 and 300 hours of art by the end of the 100 days. Totally AMAZING after not making a thing for many many months!
In fact, this challenge has been so effective at super charging my art-making practice, that I’ll probably extend it from 100 to 365 days.
And YOU have been part of this unfolding journey every step of the way. Your encouraging words in response to this blog and on Instagram have made me feel like I have a team encouraging to keep moving forward, even when I don’t know exactly where I’m headed. For this, I am forever grateful to each and every one of you.
7 thoughts on “Artist’s block be gone!”
Always love to hear about and share in your art journey! Your dedication to your process is inspiring. I need to work on being more disciplined about this – hope to do so soon! So glad to have you as a friend and fellow art traveler on our road to creativity.
I am blessed to be walking this art journey along side you. We are teaching and inspiring each other every step of the way, and in more than just art. So sorry that we won’t be spending time together next week. Hopefully this scary time will be over when we see each other next.
Great read, Cat!
I love your doodles, they remind me of Sonia Delaunay’s geometrical paintings. She also did textile designs.
Your 100 day challenge is inspiring! Looking forward to seeing more of your paintings!
Thanks so much for your kind words. I will be looking up Sonia – suddenly love this type of art. I truly appreciate your loving support.
This is so awesome and inspiring, Catherine! Thank you!
Thanks so much my friend. I’ll be thinking about you tonight at your opening. TRULY wish I could be there, however I need to stay home since I’m at risk for pneumonia because of my long history with it (had it this time last year, and many other years as well). I’m sending you big hugs and a vision for a ton of sales. Love, Catherine
Catherine, hello! What an inspiring and energizing post! I love how you shifted your rule to an hour ON AVERAGE over 100 days and how it honors the structure that supports you and builds in the flexibility that allows you to live life most fully. Congratulations on finding your inner artist and having fun in your studio!