Living an artistic life begins with concrete action. There are three steps necessary: Gathering supplies. Forming a space. And making a date with your art.
There are a lot of great excuses for neglecting one’s art. We choose family over our art. We choose our real jobs. Needy friends. Constant chores. I mean, someone has to walk the dog. And the kids gotta eat, right?
Ultimately, we keep choosing those things because art is a higher ground, a luxury that costs time and energy, and what we will do when we are finally actualized.
Art is level four to five on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs https://simplypsychology.org/maslow.html. Art is the cream in the coffee, and the softest t-shirt in the drawer.
Art is not necessary to just get through the day, which is why it commonly remains only an idea.
Well, what if there were another way? What if we all agreed that art actually is necessary for our health, spirit, self-esteem, and serenity? What if we all agreed that we are meant to create just as much as we are meant to socialize, or exercise, or intellectualize?
If we are being totally honest, art often comes second to a lot of bad habits as well – consumerism, screen time, or overindulgence with food and drink.
What if we grew up believing that an artist’s sacred corner of the room and a date-for-art on the calendar was as important as proper nutrients, staying hydrated, and the usefulness of fire? What if we all knew exactly when and where we would create our next work of art because it was a non-negotiable priority? In fact, what if we had been thinking about this all day, since it was…already planned?
The intent to create begins with a plan.
Make a list of the bare essentials and research the most cost-efficient stores. If you are seriously flat broke, ask yourself where you could stop spending to make room for your art.
Talk to your roommates or family. Tell them you have decided to make art your priority and how you’d like to usurp some space! Respectfully ask for support. Make an effort to keep this space orderly and clean, potentially storing art supplies when not in use. If you are surrounded by people who dismiss this need, you might want to re-evaluate your relationships.
Let everyone know you will be indisposed.
I write and paint at certain times, on certain days. When someone asks if I am busy, I already know I am. The people in my life understand this is my priority and will adjust their schedules accordingly. I also set alternative times for the rare occasions that I must adjust for special appointments or major life events. Be careful here. It cannot be a regular thing to always adjust for others, lest we find ourselves right back to never creating. Let’s face it: no one likes a martyr.