A Year of Creative Habits: Week 2

To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product: the finished artwork. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process: the experience of shaping that artwork
— David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art and Fear
I've committed to 2016 as being my year of creative habits. Inspired by a year-long course led by Crystal Moody, I intend to fill a sketchbook page every day and share an image of my process or completed page on Instagram. Each Monday, I'll collect my pages and list observations of the past week and my intentions for the following, here on my blog.
To help me focus during January, I'm following Lisa Congdon's Draw A Day series, using her quick instructional videos to get me started every day.

If you'd care to see what I've done in Week 2 (January 10-16), the following links will take you to my Instagram stream:


I kept all of this week's artwork in a single 7-by-10 inch sketchbook, which shortened the decision making process by a few minutes and a lot of angst. At this rate, I'll be able to hold a completely filled sketchbook in my hands in less than a month!

My biggest win of the week? Realizing the importance of sharing my stuff. I've resisted it in other courses. Had I not been committed to posting a photo every day, I probably would have abandoned several pieces at the third sign of frustration. Instead, I went with the "done is better than being perfect" motto, another gem from Essentialism, and checked another day off my habit tracker.

The other plus of sharing my work is that my opinions of my images are outnumbered by the "likes" I receive. Which at this stage of my creative habit formation, is critical. My work right now, is to fill a sketchbook page, every day. That really is the final product I'm after, but I'm gaining so much more from the process: draw, photograph and post.


I'm away from home and my usual stash of art materials for the next two weeks. I've limited myself to my mechanical pencil, a Koi watercolor Pocket Field Sketch Box and a set of Prismacolor Pencils. I'm anxious to see if fewer choices nudge me to be a bit more creative.

It will also be interesting to see how I adapt to a change in my daily routine. Will my two week old habit shrink or expand? I intend for it to expand, or at least learn yet another thing about the creative process.

I wish you all a productive and creative week.




Choosing a Creative Habit

This is it, time to make a commitment for the new year, and not a day too soon. I decided several weeks ago to make 2016, A Year of Creative Habits. Following Crystal Moody's lead through her 12-month course, I'll be starting my creative habits in this manner:

  • fill a sketchbook page every day;
  • keep track of my habit by using a goal tracker;
  • share my completed page, or a glimpse of the process, each day on Instagram;
  • weigh in on my progress (such optimism) here, once a week.

Keeping It Simple

A few days before Christmas, I did a trial run and decided to make some imaginary animals, following the exercises in Carla Sonheim's whimsical book. A piece of ginger turned into a fish (above) and I saw the underside of a bird's neck on the slate floor in the living room. I thought it would be easy to share my drawings since they didn't have to represent anything real.

But then...I'll be gone for two weeks in January and traveling light: a 6-by-6 inch sketchbook, a few pens and pencils and a Koi watercolor set will have to fit along with my laptop, journal and a bunch of et ceteras.

So, I've decided to follow Lisa Congdon's Draw A Day course on Creativebug for the month of January and focus on simply checking off every day on my goal tracker. Keeping it simple may just be the first big lesson for me. I love nothing better than to go down rabbit holes, curiouser and curioser. In 2016, I want to complete a sketchbook page, every day, before I go chasing rabbits.

Happy New Year!






#NaPhoPoMo Day 16: In the Corner

Amazement awaits us at every corner.
— James Broughton

We're halfway through November and surprisingly, I've managed to post a photo here every day. Today's photo takes an oblique view of the wooden Buddha statue that sits in the corner of my bedroom. It was late afternoon and I liked the way the orange sunlight decorated the room.

While I was cropping and editing the picture on my phone and thinking about a caption for Instagram, I realized that Day 16 was over for most people. It was already dark across the continental states. So I decided to make a new rule for myself and post by 6am, my time. It will take some planning and I'll need a schedule of some sort, just like a real blogger. 

I may be nudging myself into a corner, but let's just see what amazes me then.

During the month of November, as part of NaPhoPoMo, I intend to post at least one photo a day here. Sometimes with a little story, sometimes with only a caption, always in the hope of resisting the urge for it all to be perfect.

Photo: iPhone 5s, Camera+