I was so busy yesterday that I didn’t get to the studio again. I had already skipped a couple of days as there were just so many errands piling up, so many people to call back, and to make matters worse I had also run out of dog food. I noticed that my missed days were indeed piling up pretty much at the same rate as the To Dos on my list. Of course you never actually get ahead. I know I know this.
But in all this manoeuvring, all this struggling to free up time to bring art making into my day I noticed something. When you don’t make art for a while it almost gets easier to not do it at all. Missed days turn into weeks and then you realize you’ve kind of lost your groove on all of it anyway and well, you stop. I think this happens to a lot of artists. It happens to me.
Sometimes, this can be a good thing. Sometimes it is ok to have a break in your art making. It certainly gives you time to do more things, to find and see more things that inspire you.
But so much of the time, at least for me, I see that I just exchange the time I would be making art for time spent doing rather mundane things. I can’t even remember what time I traded yesterday for my studio time. I think I finally returned running shoes that were too small. I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how to upgrade my iPhone’s operating system and I think I also squeezed in getting Maizy her dog food on the way home.
These kinds of things always take longer than you think they will and tend to eat up your day.
I have realized there is just one thing that can put an end to this kind of distraction. There is only one thing that seems to work.
And it is this:
You just have to stop and do a little tiny bit of art. For yourself. It can be just 20 minutes but for some reason once you do, it has a way of reordering your priorities. You remember that this art thing is not a To Do, like getting kibble, but rather a break from those tasks. In fact it is not a task. It is the opposite of task.
It is an awakening where you plunge into the cool, clear waters of yourself. Putting marks down with paint or pencil or however you make art simply feeds your soul. It replenishes and reminds us we have choices – infinite choices – about what we want to make. Certainly in terms of art but also, in no small way, about our life too. Art making stokes the fire within all of us. It shifts our thinking into possibilities; curiosity of what could be ahead and begins to instill hope, again, within us.
Art making is simply an act of Faith. And when we do it, even in the smallest increments of time, we receive restoration. Restoration of who we are.
Outside of the endless to do lists and the busyness of our lives, Art making is part of the deeper answer that we often are too busy to ask.
It is the Yes.
Our art is just waiting, ever so patiently, for our return. We just must begin, in any small way we can. Again.