Mid-Weeks Links: Artist Pick-Me-Ups

My artist ego has been taking a self-inflicted beating this week. As I’ve been working more steadily in my sketchbook, the resistance has been setting in. Procrastination, avoidance, excuses, hesitation, doubting and excessive Facebook checking have all been in heavy rotation this last week. In an effort to get me out of my slump and back to work again, I decided to revisit some posts and videos from artists and bloggers that have inspired me. I hope you enjoy these too.

01. A Manifesto for Showing Up by Christina Rosalie: Christina is a writer, mixed media artist and blogger. I love this manifesto. It’s a good reminder that showing up doesn’t take an epic leap of faith. It’s sitting down and making an effort for ten minutes a day. There is no reason I can’t commit to making work for ten minutes a day. Ten minutes will likely lead to more.

02. Creative Mornings (Video) by Kate Bingaman Burt: Kate is an illustrator and educator in Portland, OR. I love the drawings and hand lettering projects that she posts on her blog. The video I’ve linked to is a long one, but it’s so worth watching it all. She talks about using the structure of rule systems and automated directives to stay motivated to create more work. So smart.

03. Design as a Lifelong Process by Amy of Pikaland: I love the illustration blog, Pikaland! This post is a recap of a speech Amy gave to students at an art and design school. I love everything about this post, and should probably re-read it at the beginning of every quarter.

04. 10 Ways to Infuse Your Work With Your Personality by Keri Smith: Keri is an author and illustrator that I’ve been following for years and years. This is a good post on documenting, collecting and sourcing ideas. See also, 100 Ideas.

05. Chuck Close’s advice to his younger self (Video): What a great kick in the pants. There is also an adorable photo of him with a tiny monkey on his shoulder in this video. “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. Every great idea I’ve ever had grew out of work itself.” – Chuck Close

Bonus! Happy Little Clouds / Bob Ross Remixed: I dare you not to smile while watching this.

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And lastly, here are a few tips from me on getting over yourself and getting back to work.

01. Get your supplies organized. Set up for art making can be really daunting with an unorganized workspace. Even thinking about getting all of the supplies out is enough to dissuade me. I have put the basics I need to paint, draw, cut, paste, etc. into one plastic bin so that even if my workspace is a disaster (which it currently is), then I can still take my bin somewhere else and have everything I need to make something.

02. Cheer someone else on. This is so big for me. Telling someone I know how awesome I think their work is, or leaving a nice comment on someone’s blog is a great way to get out of the thoughts I have running around in my head about my own work.

03. Do something you are good at. If you’ve been experimenting with new media or ideas, go back to something you are comfortable with for a while. This will remind you of what has been possible in the past with consistent work, and will give you the confidence to continue experimenting.

And now… time for me to get back to work. If you have any good tips or links, please share in the comments!

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