Everyone has experienced the challenges of getting things finished. Artists also have those challenges and we need to beat those challenges. So what can we do when we need a kick in the butt to paint or finish a painting? Here are a few tips.
1. Show up!
Mark Twain was once asked if he had to wait for inspiration to come before writing. “Yes, I do,” he replied, “but inspiration always comes at 9am sharp, every weekday!”
To succeed, you have to turn up. For most of us, no one else is making us paint. But if you don’t put the hours in, the rest of it comes to nothing. Professionals do; wannabes just think about it.
Ideally, plan a set time for painting and stick to it. If you’re physically there, ready to start, you’ve already won half the battle.
2. Fight resistance
Resistance is what makes you sort through your paint supplies can re-arrange them, instead of painting. In short, resistance is what makes you do something else that feels important but that actually isn’t, at the expense of doing what you’re really meant to be doing – creating.
A simple way to trap this creeping disease is to log exactly what you do for a few painting sessions sessions, and see how much time you actually spent painting.
3. Finish what you start, then start again
How many times have you shown a partly finished painting to someone only to have them ask you later how the finished painting looks. Then all you can muster is that “it is not finished”.
Try setting deadlines and sticking to them – come what may. Tasks tend to expand to fit the available time. Deadlines are your friend. Professionals paint, finish, and move on. Wannabes procrastinate and spend more time coming up with excuses than delivering and getting going on the next project.
4. Accept that it’s natural to lack confidence
We are each programmed to think than anyone, everyone, can do stuff better than us. That simply because we’re involved, anything we do is bound to fail.
Writers feel it when they face a blank page and we feel it with a blank page. We all have moments when we feel like we’re just not up to the task. Accept that there will be times when we miss the mark and treat it as training. We always learn more from our failures than our successes. Without the little “nudges” that each almost-success gives us, we simply can’t hit our final, successful goal.
So just get out there and “Just do it!”
Here is a painting by Milind Mulick that some of us will interpret in the coming weeks.
p.s., I do not suffer from procrastination for painting. However, I do paint when I procrastinate from other work. A lot...