“I will join Alice and explore every rabbit hole, even at the risk of shrinking and expanding. I will join Huck and ride the river, even if con men are waiting. I will discover the essence of poetry, unravel the mystery of song, grasp the intricacies of color. I am one terrific explorer.” Eric Maisel
The holidays are over and the new year is in full swing! At the end of every year, a long-standing tradition of mine has been to look back over the year and identify what worked, what didn’t work, what I learned, and what life has taught me. And then I ask myself what I will do differently in the coming year. I had a great many successes in my personal life and I accomplished a lot in 2012. However, because I was so very busy working on all those other things, I spent very little time in my studio. I learned that when I stop painting for long stretches, I forget where I was when last I painted, and it feels like I’m continually starting over. It’s a different story when I’m working regularly. A certain rhythm develops and new and unexpected ideas often show up while I’m working on a painting, and those ideas often lead to other new and exciting ideas. Working regularly, I’m able to generate, navigate, and process new ideas smoothly and confidently. I love being deeply and passionately engaged with my art, and I know that in order to be in that place I need to be painting all the time.
So this year, instead of making my usual list of art goals, I have a very simple plan: to show up regularly in my studio. I can play, I can fail, I can make messes and mistakes, I can explore. I’m redefining what success means to me and it no longer includes having to create a masterpiece every time (although it would certainly be nice if one showed up occasionally!). Success for me is now is going to be defined as simply showing up regularly and doing the work.
You can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. And you can’t step up to the plate unless you enter the playing field. Stepping into the studio and entering the playing field on a regular basis is my plan. I intend to be one terrific explorer!
How about you? Do you have any ideas to share about what inspires you to show up in your studio regularly? I’d love to hear from you!