I will admit to anyone reading this, I have been in a rigid "funk" lately, where I have pushed myself to "be creative" every day, but really I'm just forcing myself to produce.
And I've been screaming- "there's no milk left! No milk left!" My spirit animal is a cow, did I mention that?
Being creative means being curious. I love that word, curious. When we are curious, don't we follow it without looking back? Don't we feel excited to discover something, and momentarily forget about all the things on our to-do list, or what was worrying us moments before?
I remember when I was about 11 and I'd walk around my old neighborhood searching for things that would claw at my curiosity. Notebook in hand, binoculars round neck, and even at one time a spy microphone, I was set to discover something outrageous about the way the world works. I know NOW that eavesdropping is highly inappropriate, but hey, I was 11 and it was a blast. I don't regret it! I have notebooks full of weird conversations I overheard, or of watching people in their backyards. It doesn't sound that fascinating when you read those notebooks now, but at the time it was thrilling.
This is what an art practice is all about.
When you sit down to create, there shouldn't be an end goal in mind. A thread of curiosity can lead you to places beyond expectations, beyond your doubt, beyond the bullshit and worry. I was making the mistake of pushing aside any thread and "practicing to make perfect" so that I'd be better than I was before.
Isn't now good enough? Honestly, it's all we have, so we better damn well appreciated ourselves this moment.
We don't need the perfect part. Because practice is what makes us. Through a practice, we are unfolding, uncovering more and more of ourselves.
When do I practice?
I have to make time to practice, but I'm shooting for often as possible. Children do it every day. I think it's safe to say that we should too. I think the more we do it, the more we can let stuff go and get down to the real stuff.
It doesn't need to look like one thing.
Reread the title to this post. All of those things are part of my practice. I have decided I will not just practice one thing because I am a multisided human being with lots of layers. Yay!
Now tell me, what will your practice look like? Start with this: what are you curious about? Now go out and follow it. I can't wait to see where your practice takes you!
Annie is an author and illustrator with books available on Amazon and local book stores. She is open for commission, too! She lives in California, and loves tea, bike rides, reading, and exploring new places.