Art is a Practice

What are the things that keep you from being creative?

Ok, I'll go first.

Fear of having nothing meaningful to contribute.

Fear of ending up with a mediocre, or even crappy, result.

Fear of realizing that I don't know what I am doing.

Not having the right resources.

Feeling like nobody cares about my work anyways.

Fear of being frowned upon by the "establishment" art world.

Fear of being accepted by the "establishment" art world.

Fear of being seen as an amateur.


I have more, but I'll spare you. The pattern here is that a lot of what makes it challenging to get to the studio for me at times, revolves around how the end result will be perceived and judged by others.


What will THEY think?


The THEY can be former teachers, gallery owners, colleagues, students, family members,... pretty much anyone will do as a presumptive finger-pointer telling me "You are not ... enough!"


Luckily, I have learned to get to the studio despite my imagined and/or real cohort of judges.


Not because I know that I have something great to contribute, or because I know that I am great at drawing and painting, but because I love drawing and painting in and of itself.


I know that the act of putting pen to paper, of pushing shades of color around a flat surface is good for my well-being. It helps me pay attention, it helps me find clarity, it helps me notice details or see the big picture, it helps me be in the present moment and have a smile on my face.


Putting too much focus on the end result, that saleable, finished "piece of art", has kept me from diving into the creative process too many times. Instead I believe in art as a practice. Drawing and painting for their own sake.


A practice is never done. It has no end, as the goal we may be practicing toward keeps sliding ever farther along to new destinations. A practice begins anew every day.




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