Are you putting in the time?

Recently my local scrapbook store (sign up for classes here!) asked me to teach a series of art journaling workshops. Ladies and gents – this is going to be BIG fun and I am super excited.

Oh but this post isn’t an advertisement for those or anything – no. This post is about what happened to me when I got home and went to create samples. Short version: I choked

Not a permanent freeze, nothing so terrible. But had I given up after the first hour, day, even 5 days I would have assumed I could not do anymore, that I had no talent, that my ideas were dried up and gone.

I am sharing this with you because it takes courage to keep going, you must keep showing up and putting in the hours if you want to get to a place where creativity freely flows and you feel like you are just magically making. Well, at least I do. I haven’t been playing in my art journal lately so of course it took a while to gather myself. OF COURSE a few pages were rough and a few ideas didn’t work! When it comes to creativity where you’re going from your own head (no outline or structure given):

  1. You will need to have those mental muscles well used in order to just start running! If it’s been a while, be gentle with yourself and just relax into the process.
  2. Tell yourself you’re going to make some ugly art. Then do that. WHY!? Because it takes the pressure off to make anything good.
  3. 10 minutes is all you need each day on any given craft to add up to an hour a week. An hour a week is my minimum for any craft to feel “in the zone”
  4. Don’t stop for long if you want to get to a better place- effort is needed.

I’m not going to make the mistake of letting supplies gather dust again, well yes I will. BUT if I do, I’ll understand I need a few days to warm back up, a few hours practice before things are going at the speed they should when I’m in the zone.

If I’m not putting in the time, I won’t be able to simply ‘whip up’ projects at a moment’s notice. Nothing wrong with that – I just need to be aware of my expectation vs reality!

Art Journaling for me is a way to be fluid in many formats of creativity all at once. I use the techniques elsewhere, and I really enjoy having samples of techniques and my own ideas in a journal to flip through when stuck.

Oh yes, and if ever really, truly, I just don’t know what to do stuck? Just start throwing color (yes literally) on paper and see what sparks. Sometimes you’ll fail sure – but that’s just a part of the process. The failures are the only way to get through to the success and the “I love that I made this!” wins.

Happy Crafting!