Art Journal Every Day: Developing a Daily Art Habit
September 18, 2020
If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, the concept is simple: It's a commitment to take ten minutes each day to do something in your art journal. No need to finish anything or even like it. It's about making the time to nourish your creativity every day! If you have the time to flip through your phone, you have the time to Art Journal Every Day. If you'd like to share what you make, use the hashtag #artjournaleveryday so that we can all take a peek. You can find new Art Journal Every Day posts here on the blog most Fridays. The archives go back to the first Art Journal Every Day post in 2010.
Yesterday, I listened to an episode of the HBR Ideacast, a podcast featuring interviews with business thought leaders. The guest was James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. He had a number of great suggestions for the process of developing habits. These are the two tips that spoke to me:
- Make it easy. Choose a task that takes less than 2 minutes. On the podcast, James Clear references Twyla Tharp. She worked out for two-hours each day and she said all she ever thought about was hailing the cab in front of her apartment. Once she did that, the workout happened. For me, that's pulling out my journal and stamping the date in it. Once I do that, I'm off and running.
- Don't focus on the habit. Focus on the little things that create the habit. In order for me to be able to pull out my journal and stamp the date, I need to have my journal and my stamps/ink right on my desk. Every day. Not under a pile, but in a spot that is easy to locate and grab. And the good news is, I do!
Another thing he said that I thought was interesting was that habits can be cumulative. If you spend 10 extra minutes every day at work to get that one last task done, it won't be a big deal after a week or even a month. But over a year or a career...wow. On that note, take a peek at my art journal journey. I have made an effort to do ten-minutes-a-day for several years now. I can see the evolution:
Two more bits of wisdom from the podcast:
He used a great metaphor about change. People become frustrated when they don't see change right away or even after a year or two. He said it's like warming up an ice cube. If you warm a 27 degree room to 28 degrees, the ice cube just sits there. Same at 29, 30, 31, 32...then suddenly at 33 degrees, the ice cube melts. There's no difference in the one-degree change from 28 to 29 than there is from 32 to 33, but that's the ice cube's melting point. You seeing results in your own life is often the same thing. Certainly for me, it goes in fits and starts.
Finally, he said that the thing about bad habits is that they're rewarding up-front with delayed negative consequences. Good habits are often tough up-front with delayed positive consequences. The trick is to push through.
So...the next time you're choosing between scrolling through your phone for ten minutes or sitting down to make art, I hope you'll choose the art!
Thanks for stopping by!
PS: Hey Balzer Designs Members, the livestream is on Sunday at 12pm EST. Be sure to get your questions in ASAP.