Don't let attention thieves gnaw at your creativity

“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” -José Ortega Y Gasset

Do you ever feel like you are evaporating into the digital ether?

By compulsively checking yet again how many likes an Instagram post received, or running one more cycle through all of my inboxes, I am definitely guilty of daily chipping away at my footing in the here and now, myself.

Do you feel the same?

Lori Deschene says it really well: " With one eye on our gadgets, we're unable to give our full attention to who and what is in front of us - meaning that we miss out on the details of our lives, ironically, while responding to our fear of missing out."

It may come as a surprise but artists are positioned at a unique advantage when it comes to combating the digital sprawl, as we possess an unassuming, yet, forceful weapon: Our trusty sketchbook!

Ready to redirect our attention at a moment's notice from the inconsequential back to the worthwhile, the space between these sacred corners extends the room to explore new ideas, plan projects, and record the things we notice throughout the day.

Especially when you sketch what you see, you capitalize on the sketchbook's greatest power of putting you back into the present moment. Think about it in light of what Jocelyn K. Glei says: “In a world filled with distraction, attention is our competitive advantage.”

That's a pretty powerful statement, right?!

Not only is sketching contributing to your artistic pleasure but also fortifying you to stay competitive in today's society.

Isn't that encouraging?

In case your sketchbook practice has slipped a bit (or a lot), begin it again! Start by simply noticing three little things every day.

The contour of your coffee cup. The texture of your dog's ear. The shadow pattern on the wall. Mark them down. You are already ahead of the game, now.

Need another nudge? Maybe Naomi Shihab Nye's hilarious poem will help you to get going:

“Please Describe How You Became A Writer”

“Possibly I began writing as a refuge from our insulting first-grade textbook.

Come, Jane, come.

Look, Dick, look.

Were there ever duller people in the world?

You had to tell them to look at things?

Why weren’t they looking to begin with?”

Watch my 3 minute riff on the importance of your sketchbook here.

Need some moral support in getting started? Come by one of our free upcoming events!


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