No matter what you do in your life, is it art, laundry or the paperwork. Sometimes you don’t really feel to show up, to do the thing or even to get out of the bed for a whole day. I don’t really believe into pushing yourself, forcing yourself to do it. If you do something with resistance, there is no flow and it’s more likely it will take you a bunch of additional time to finish it, it won’t be anything near what you wanted, it’s like eating the food that you really really don’t like. Imagine the feeling in the body by eating that. It doesn’t work.
When you feel like not doing something, it is not really self-loving to force it. We always read how to love yourself, how to be your own best friend and similar subjects, but what does that really mean. We argue with our reasons why it would be good to do something, handle the paperwork, clean the apartment, making art every day to develop our style, trying to calculate all the beneficial reasons, but not really feeling it.
It’s normal to love to make art and not be inspired 24 hours a day, the whole week. It’s also a fact that if you want to learn, expand, improve, you need to make some real life actions connected to that. It’s easy when you have it, the idea, the excitement, the flow, but what about those days, when you don’t.
What I learned through these years are some mindsets that help (making art is the subject, but can be applied to everything).
1. Sometimes is it as simple as: you don’t like to do it anymore. You could be an artist for 1 or 10 years but the expiration date has come to an end. It is not who you are anymore, it doesn’t excite you, you don’t feel it in your soul. It is like a job you don’t like anymore and you are still staying there. Why? This is about being totally honest with yourself and try to feel this answer. Is it a solid yes or no? Honor that truth.
2. There are times you need a break and the times you can’t get away from the canvas. There is no unlimited dose of creativity. Take your time off, do what excites you in that particular moment and you’ll gain your creative forces as well. You can also allow yourself to make art 12 hours or 1 hour straight or even zero hours in a day, do it when you feel like it and as long as you like it. You can paint for 15 exciting minutes, go for a long walk, do other things and later when you feel excited again, paint some more.
3. Sometimes we block ourselves with the expectation of what it should look like, making a masterpiece, finishing it in a certain timeframe. We get attached to the outcome instead of enjoying the process of creation. It can be also connected with inner beliefs of not being good enough, skilled enough in making art. Fear of not doing it well, lacking the ideas, seeing ourselves already stuck. It takes a few moments to really define what is the reason behind, why we are avoiding the work or postponing it. Sitting with that kind of feelings can be a process of major shifts that will influence your own identity and your whole life. Art is just a great way to recognize it.
4. When you don’t feel like painting, but you can’t find any particular reason or anything else exciting to do, maybe you can just try to be gentle with yourself. Ok, I am gonna go to the canvas and just take one color, improvise a bit, step after step. First thing is to make one line and then the other and then maybe a spot, that flower looks beautiful, maybe I can make a shape of it. If you reduce the process to small achievable steps, you just might start to build the momentum and get into a total flow. Imagine it as going to the mountain and what you need to do is just the next step, you can rest, wait a bit and then move forward, listening to your current ability, condition, willingness. You accept where you are and do the smallest available things at that point. Usually works for me.
5. What also helps is to tune in into the feeling of making art. Exploring the questions like: WHY am I making art? What is so exciting about it? What is the most enjoyable part of the process? How does it feel to see the painting on the wall? What kind of feelings I experience, when someone gets my artwork and I see the joy on his face? Would it be more fun to paint with someone else today? Try to turn on your imagination, what are the other things connected with art from a wider perspective that really motivate you and fulfill your soul. It can really make you jump out of the bed!
6. Sometimes the best possible thing to do is: just stay in the bed and do nothing. It is a way of self-caring if you do it with total awareness and it doesn’t become a habit or a way to avoid the truth that lays behind.
All the methods can be also applied to any other area of your life, to each task, whatever are “your things”. Just as a final note: I totally wasn’t inspired to write today, so I started to write how it feels to be uninspired 🙂
Have a lovely day <3