One of the most underrated qualities of a successful art practice is consistency. There is an insane amount of power that comes from showing up to your studio on good days, bad days, and all the days in between. On this episode, get a taste of what it’s like to be part of the Savvy Painter Community as I share a Mindset Monday talk about creating an art practice that you can rely on.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:23] The consequences of an inconsistent art practice and the struggle to find balance in the studio.
- [6:10] Taking advantage of the Domino Effect in your art studio
- [14:49] Why kindness patience, and trust should be critical to your art practice
- [17:33] The rewards of consistency and creating an upward spiral
Let’s get consistent
Why do we need a consistent art practice? Why can’t we just paint when we feel like it? I mean, you can, but you’re not going to experience the results you’re hoping for any time soon. An inconsistent art practice slows down, stalls out, and even stunts your growth as an artist. You’re not able to gain momentum or have thoughts follow you easily from one painting to the next. That alone makes it really hard to tune into your voice and nurture your own vision. The other thing it does is reinforce a lack of trust in yourself as an artist. If we can’t trust ourselves to show up in the studio on a good day, how will we ever be able to do it when things get tough? That lack of trust results in a pile of unfinished paintings, or worse, no paintings at all.
Avoid the “all or nothing” approach
I often talk about the struggle to stay away from black and white thinking as an artist. We can allow a moment to define us for a lifetime instead of recognizing that there is balance in the gray. A bad day can simply be one bad day. A less-than-stellar painting can be a step in our evolutionary process as artists instead of a declaration that we are not cut out for this. Binary thinking even creeps into how we develop a consistent art practice. In an effort to correct a lack of consistency in the studio, some artists will start binge painting as an overcorrection. They try to marathon paint 12-hour sessions hoping to make up for lost time and then quickly burn out, starting the cycle over again. This leads to a practice that looks like sporadic drips instead of a steady pour. The longer we spend in this cycle, the more we become the taskmasters of our studios instead of the artists. Our creative process becomes full of friction! We start creating from a place of stress and lack. I don’t know about you, but none of my best work has come from places like that. The most productive and consistent art practices are defined by balance and authenticity.
Small sustained effort leads to massive results
You’ve likely heard of the Domino Effect and are familiar with the idea that one small effort can set off a chain reaction. But what about forced amplification? It uses the same principle as the Domino Effect, except the first domino is only a few millimeters high. Each consecutive domino increases in size by a factor of 1.5, so in 13 steps you could knock down a 100-pound domino. In 29 steps you could knock down the Empire State Building…that’s insane! Over time, a consistent art practice has the same effect on your painting skills, business skills, marketing skills, or anything else you apply it to. When we are committed to improving ourselves by just half a percent every day, there’s no limit to the amount of growth we can experience. Listen to this episode for more insights on developing consistency in your art practice!