During the Creative Process
Do It Before You’re Ready
Loving that it’s October! I’m heading to the cottage to paint but before I do— I’ve got an idea I want to share with you.
I know for myself it gets easy this time of year to begin putting things off until the first of the year. With Thanksgiving next month and Christmas quickly following it seems crazy to start anything new.
Dreams and creativity or plans to exercise and take better care of ourselves start getting added to some imaginary January list.
And so we wait.
I’m gonna suggest something crazy though. How ‘bout we do it before we are ready? Before things ‘slow down’ (which never happens—what a sneaky thought that one is!)
I’m not suggesting taking on the whole enchilada at once because that rarely works out (personally remembering all those big goals/New Year’s resolutions and mentally shaking my head :-))
What I am looking at here though is this…taking small steps towards the things we really do want.
What might be on our list?
Books we want to read
Paintings we wish to make
Walks we’ve been waiting to take
What if we began with these small steps?
Reading 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at night
(Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, takes an average of 3 hours to read. At 20 minutes a day you could read it in just a little over a week/ 9 days). Which leads me to think—how many books could be read between now and January!??
Painting small works in either oil or watercolor. Oils need approximately a 1-2 hour time commitment and watercolors 1/2 -1 hour. (Fitting this in just 1x a week means that by January you would have about 12 new little pieces of artwork in your collection).
Taking a 10-minute walk every other day. Walking loosens up both body and mind. You can either take in your surroundings or listen to great music, books on audio, or informative podcasts. Double win!!
What might we be feeling come January?
Instead of heading into a new year feeling defeated by having ‘lost’ three months, we will arrive ready to build and grow on the previous small steps.
It cannot be overstated how much a sense of accomplishment leads to momentum in our lives. Just imagine what new inspiration each of us might find by taking small steps starting now.
Let’s do it before we are ready.
You with me?
Let me know some small steps you can begin doing this week towards your personal goals. Inspire me and others by leaving a comment!
It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now.
~ Hugh Laurie, English actor, musician, and comedian
Love all your work
Good morning Drema,
I am reading your email with a broken heart. My beloved husband Dave of 48 years passed away suddenly from pneumonia after 48 wonderful years a week ago. As you can imagine my world has changed forever.. I am blessed with a wonderful family and friends, but nothing is normal. I am trying to take small steps and spend my days handling all the paperwork that needs to be done. I want you to know painting will be my refuge as I grieve. Hold Ron close to your heart. Dave and I thought we had more time together, but God had different plan. Love Barbara Brown
Oh Barbara—how sad and life altering. I am so sorry. Ron and I will be holding you in our thoughts and prayers as you navigate this new place in your life without your beloved Dave. Much love to you, dear Barbara.
This definitely applies to me! Already into extra small pictures, not enough time for big projects right now.
Thanks for this encouragement!
All small letters on email address
Thank you for these words that I really needed to hear. I have been trying to learn the Italian language off and on for years. I am going to get out all my instructional materials and commit to 15 min each day. Thank you!
Dreama, thank you for this wonderful message. I’m so guilty of saying “I’ll do that when I’m ready!!!” If I don’t start something now whatever it is, then what do I think will happen to let me know I’m ready! I’m going to start looking at why I’m thinking this way about my painting and just start. It could be that I don’t think I can paint, or that I’m just not creative enough, or afraid to put something down on that blank piece of canvas, or that I can just use all my supplies and not feel like I’m waisting all this money and not creating something “worthy”. Thank you for giving me lots to think about….and for getting me motivated to move on! Gif Bless!!
Dreama, thank you for this wonderful message. I’m so guilty of saying “I’ll do that when I’m ready!!!” If I don’t start something now whatever it is, then what do I think m will happen to let me know I’m ready!
Thanks so much for this inspiration!
Dreama, you are so wise! That is exactly what I do this time of year – wait til January. Thank you for helping me see my excuse of ‘not being ready’ with a new perspective starting today.
READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!
Love this painting! 😘
As my Grade 6 teacher used to say: “The hardest thing is to start something.” That’s especially true when we’ve put off doing that “next big painting”, and we feel rusty, unsure, intimidated, and out of practise. One of the best ways to break the ice when tackling a new subject or method of painting is to start small: do several studies that break the composition down into its basic elements in a way that helps remind you of the colour-mixing recipes and the successful working methods you’ve used in the past. Then, when you’re feeling back in the swing of things, experiment with colors and techniques that you want to explore. “You have to learn to walk before you can run”, and in the world of art, one of the best ways to get your painting chops back into shape is to work small, then when you’re ready, tackle the big pieces that truly showcase your talent.
I think this was written especially for me. There seems to be “stuff” that gets in the way or maybe it’s that I let it get in the way. I’m taking the Watercolor Journaling class just for me. Going slow to immerse myself in each section. Thanks for the 10 minute ideas. Obviously I’m putting the idea in practice by taking time to absorb the message in this newsletter. Thank you so much. It’s just what I needed. Now to keep the momentum.
Well I signed but still haven’t been able to open the website. I spoke with your husband a couple of times but breast cancer and surgery have prevented that from happening. I feel now I had better look up his email and get started. Just dig in and make time.
Take a drive!!
Did this often with my husband when we were younger.. I remember enjoying just taking a long drive taking in the scenery of various towns. Need to make time to do it more often.. great for new inspirations to paint!!
Tell someone your plan/commitment and commit to sharing your progress with them.
After taking one of Dreama’s courses, I was drawn to the new colors we learned about but I have struggled to see my world through the new color lenses. After a couple of years of off and on painting, I decided it was time to press through the hinderances and begin painting smalls on a regular basis. I began painting a simple fruit each day for thirty days and after successfully doing this, I decided to go another 30 days and paint whatever I wanted. It has been just short of 2 months now and the experience has been wonderful. I think that I do see this as a gift I can give myself and I am grateful that as I continue to paint I will truly find my artistic voice. Thank you, Dreama for your inspiration!
Finish my book, so I can get on with my painting.
I have started reading again because of your encouraging words and book recommendations. I have read 10 books the past 3 months. Thank you, Dreama!
You just reiterated what a friend and I have been discussing these past few days of a girls get together in Charleston! How did you know?
Thank you, as always, for your encouragement and wisdom! Gail
Great quote. Thanks for the peptalk. I’m going to paint 3 Halloween paintings and 3 Christmas decorated cars in the next six weeks. 5x7s. Now is the time! Love your work, too. So beautiful.
Yes yes yes! I was so encouraged by your short video…i started painting again…small works, every day! Your words seems to come just at the right time. You are my guardian angel on earth…. never stop inspiring your fans….your friends.
You are so right Dreama! It is only in looking back that we realize the time we have wasted and by then it’s in the past! We need to just start…
Actually, I haven’t taken small steps. They’ve been huge. March 2018 found me on a journey to conquer an invasive type of breast cancer. I’m a weaver and painter. Inspiration and desire to create went down the tube while I concentrate my whole being int9 getting well. My flower garden became my focus and refuge, getting me through chemo, surgery, and radiation. A watercolour workshop I had signed up for with Dale just before mastectomy surgery challenged me to dig deep and find my way back to discover I still had some creative spark. The spark became a glowing ember that lay dormant through two surgeries and radiation. My family thought I was crazy when I committed to participating in two art events in the summer as well as an oil painting workshop with David Sharpe. It was hard going, but I did it. I had enough pieces I hadn’t shown for the art shows, but not having any weaving, forced me to get producing, with one more surgery left on Sept. 30 (this week), I took another workshop, an abstract one…definitely out of my comfort zone, three days before the surgery. Pre-surgery, I made sure I had my loom set up to weave, so I’m all set and fired up to weave and paint in about a week. Just jumping in and doing it works.
I too have been battling breast cancer this year! I do small watercolors and smaller quilts while I adjust to the changes this has brought! (Like curly hair from chemo!) (hope it grows out as pretty as Dreama’s!)
Your comment and Dreama’s post are so encouraging!
As per your suggestion in the Roadmap you made, I’ve put “The Heart to Start”, by David Kadavy on my Kindle and will begin reading it today.
Dreama , you are So Right , thank you so much for sharing this motivation this morning . I think I will mention this to my students , giving you all credit for the idea and linking your site in my post . I know when I get over busy my sketchbook and pen and wash help me stay motivated .I love the small chunks of time you mentioned , they do all up . Thanks again for sharing , I have learned so much from you .
Dreama, thank you. Your inspiration is a lifeline!
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