The challenge that changed my life

“Follow the call”

On January 1, 2020, I challenged myself to…

Create one hour of art a day for 30 consecutive days.

Why?  I hadn’t been in the studio for over a month, and the longer I stalled, the more excuses I invented to block me from starting.

It turned out that this simple goal was just what I needed to jump start my art practice. Creating for 30 consecutive days filled me with so much joy that I extended the challenge to 60 days.

Then Covid appeared, and now with so much more time on my hands, why not go for all 365?

So I did.

And here is what I learned along the way.

 

First, it is unrealistic to create EVERY day.

There were some days where I just didn’t have an hour to spare or the energy to create, so rather than let go of the challenge, I modified it to “create an AVERAGE of one hour a day”. After all, I invented the challenge to support my art process, so I was free to gently bend the “rules” so they truly served me.

The result? After 365 days of marking my calendar with how many hours I spent creating, I ended up with an average of 2 hours a day, a total of 744 hours in the studio. Wow! Not bad considering I had several weeks in a row where I did no art at all.

 

Second, I produce MUCH more art when consistently creating an hour+ a day, which eventually changed HOW I create as well.

By creating almost every day, I began to crank out art at twice my “normal” pace. Hence, as of day 365 (today!), I have created two collections, released one for sale, and am half done with two more. The picture in this post is from the second finished collection that will be released February 2021. Most importantly, I got much clearer about the type of art I want to create moving forward.

And in the middle of it all, I learned to let go and follow what I was being “told” to create in each moment, trusting my heart and higher power to guide the way.  Now I’m creating from a place of deep connection, allowing the Universe to create through me, moment by precious moment.

This challenge worked so well in super charging my art practice, I’m starting all over again on January 1, 2021 with counting the hours I create each day.

 

Want to join me?

The results might surprise you as well!

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “The challenge that changed my life”

    • Karen,

      I’m thrilled that you want to commit to your creativity and joy this year. Cheering you on as we create for one hour+ a day!

      Big hugs,
      Cat

      Reply
  1. Hmmm. I think I’m already at 1+ average, but the tracking sounds intriguing as I’m always fascinated by numbers and statistics. And what my art life could use is more focus and less fractured time, this might help!

    Reply
    • Denise,
      Tracking for me just keeps me focused and honest with myself about how much time I REALLY devote to what I most love doing. Life can easily distract and get me off course. Hope this simple daily action supports your practice as well.
      Hugs,
      Cat

      Reply
  2. Yes please! I’m a writer and have spent a great deal of time and energy *not* writing lately, and I feel hollow and rootless because of it – which of course drains more energy…
    Wishing you 365 days of gratitude and joy!

    Reply
    • Penny, I LOVE that you want to devote more time to your art. Committing to doing an average of an hour, or even 30 minutes, a day, is a very powerful statement and form of self-care. I truly had no idea of what would happen as a result of starting this daily ritual one year ago today. And it wasn’t until about November that I realized all that had transpired because of this simple daily action. Please stay in touch and let me know how its going for you. I’ll be doing it beside you, one hour at a time!
      Hugs,
      Cat

      Reply
  3. Thanks for this idea, Catherine, I’m thrilled it has worked so well for you! I, too, struggle with making the time and space to create art regularly. I often feel too “cramped” with other responsibilities, even if they are in service of my art business. Creating art requires a more spacious state of mind for me. But I am inspired to adapt your goals so I can create art more consistently. Happy arting!

    Reply
    • Annette,
      We have so much in common. So hard to balance art making with the art biz and life. Hope an adaptation of this challenge works for you as well. When I started this last year, I figured that I could certainly find time for just an hour a day for what I most loved. Didn’t happen every day, but most days, and they made all the difference. Now I’m also adding to that a challenge to less than 1.5 hours of TV a day. I mindlessly waste too much time at night watching TV just to be with my love. Now I watch one show, and go to read a book or something else I love much more than TV. Only only day 4 for both of these challenges, but so far its working!
      All my best,
      Cat

      Reply
      • Oh, best of luck with the new challenge! It is so hard to use our time mindfully when there are so many easy temptations to waste it– I am addicted to Words With Friends, for instance. But I am going to prioritize making art most every day so that, hopefully, it becomes more of an ingrained habit rather than a special event.

        Reply

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