If you’re a lazy artist you probably do a few (or all) of these thing:
- Make excuses
- Lack consistency in creating
- Procrastinate on projects
- Slow down or stop projects when you get to a part you don’t like
- Compare your work to other artists
- Talk down about yourself/work
- Lack motivation to create
- Claim to have no time to create
- Make little to no progress because you have no consistency
- Are probably lazy in other areas of your life
It’s ok, me too.
I’m happy to say I’ve gotten better with my art and routine over the past year.
I struggled with progression in my art because I wanted to do everything but mastered nothing.
I was a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, I made a lipgloss and jewelry business, I designed logos and I threw monthly events for creatives.
Now these are all really good ideas and they could have been successful ideas.
But because I didn’t stick to one thing at a time I never really progressed or mastered any.
I was spreading myself and my time too thin to the point where nothing was getting done.
And I avoided doing the hard parts of my creative ventures.
I lacked patience and made excuses.
When I got bored I would allow myself to be distracted to avoid doing work.
So I decided enough is enough.
I said I have to choose 1 thing and let go of my other endeavors.
I told myself if God gave me the gifts and visions I have today, I can trust He’ll hold onto them until He provides the right opportunity to use them.
So I chose art.
And I set aside everything else.
The photography clients. The requests. Even the commission based projects for a while.
And so far I can say this was the best decision I ever could’ve made.
Now let me list all of the good habits I made (and am still working on) that’ll help you.
- Write down 1 goal you want to achieve and use the 1-3-5 method to accomplish it
- Schedule your time around achieving that one goal
- Set a routine for creating everyday/every week
- Make a vision board for your phone and computer
- Draw in your sketchbook everyday for at least 5 minutes
- Use the 5 minute rule on a project when you’re feeling lazy
- Brain Dump all of your ideas
- Have an accountability partner
- Take care of your health to have your energy
People who don’t have goals aren’t as successful as they want to be.
And people who don’t write down their goals are less likely to accomplish them.
Writing your goals down is important because it tracks your progress.
But to track your progress you need to create milestones.
Let’s first start with the 1-3-5 method.
1 - Write 1 goal you want to achieve.
3 - Write 3 reasons why you want to achieve it.
5 - Write 5 actions you are going to take to achieve your goal.
The 5 actions that you wrote down will be your milestones.
This way when you accomplish them you’ll be able to see your progress.
But keep it simple.
With having a creative goal new habits need to take place.
Such as setting aside more time to work on your project or for learning new techniques.
So keep in mind that your day to day schedule should be simplified.
Even if you have to eliminate certain things that may not serve you and your goals.
This can be helpful if you have a busy schedule.
To eliminate the excuse of not having time to work on your art, you need to make time.
Prioritize your time in a way that makes it possible to work on your craft even just a little bit.
It could be on your lunch break or you could set aside a day to spend time by yourself.
Just you and your art utensils.
But you have to start by scheduling time to master your craft.
If possible I’d suggest setting a day and time of the week.
And make it really specific like “Tuesdays and Thursdays I will draw after my 4pm class.”
The more specific your tasks are, the better you’ll be at managing your time and consistency.
You can create a vision board for your phone and computer on Canva.com.
This can be helpful because you’ll have a visual reminder of your goals everyday.
Canva has stock photos you could use or you can upload your own photos.
This is helpful for me because I’m too lazy to print, cut, and glue pictures to an actual board.
This is an exercise all artists should practice.
Sketchbooks have been romanticized into an aesthetically pleasing book with perfect art.
When it should be the complete opposite.
Sketchbooks should be considered a trash can where you can dump all of your bad ideas.
And because of this perfect standard we’ve given it, we feel discouraged to draw.
So the next thing I’d suggest you try is drawing in your sketchbook for at least 5 minutes a day.
Without focusing on how well the drawing comes out.
Focus on getting through those 5 minutes of sketching.
Even if you’re a sculptor, the practice of pencil/pen to paper reminds us of the basics.
And trains our mind to not worry about the outcome but the actual task at hand.
Speaking of 5 minutes, the next thing to try when feeling lazy is the 5 Minute Rule.
When you’re feeling lazy and need to work on a project, set a timer for 5 minutes.
Tell yourself you’re going to work on it for just 5 minutes and then you can stop.
After the 5 minutes are up you are most likely going to continue creating.
You’ve already set up your materials, you got in the zone, so you might as well continue right?
Practicing this 5 minutes rule gives you the motivation you need to keep going just a little longer.
Or it’ll get you in the zone where you’re painting or drawing for hours.
So let’s say you “still don’t have time to create.”
I’ll tell you right now that is a lie.
If you have 2 jobs but you get a lunch break, you have a few minutes to work on your craft.
Only get 3 hours to yourself after work and school?
You can use that time to draw or paint.
The question is how important is your art to you?
How bad do you want it?
Because if you truly have a passion for your art, you’ll make a way to work on it.
Prioritize your time in a way that makes it possible to work on your craft.
Time spent on your craft is actually time for yourself.
You’re actually improving your skills for you so in a way, it’s self-care.
A Brain Dump is where you literally write out every single thought, idea, and project you have.
After you do this, next to each idea write down how long you think they will take to complete.
Pick out an idea and plan out which days you’ll work on it and how much time you’ll spend on it.
Then pick another idea and repeat the process.
You can do this for as many projects as you want.
I suggest planning out at least 2 weeks worth of work.
This way you are way more likely to have more organized production days.
Because you wrote down your actions to achieve that art goal.
This is a person who will check on your progress however often you’d like them to.
Doing this ensures that you’ll make more progress on your art.
It’s easier to tell yourself excuses as to why you can’t get something done.
And it’s painful to tell someone you didn’t do something because you have to explain yourself.
Then those excuses don’t sound so good.
To make this more effective you can put something of value on the line.
For example, say you want to complete a project by next Friday.
And if you don’t finish by then you have to pay your accountability partner $50.
Or you have to do your sibling’s chores for a week.
Pick something you really don’t want to do so that you have no choice but to work on your art.
It’s the most effective way to produce more art.
Because you don’t want to face consequences or disappointment.
This is why coaching and mentoring is effective.
You constantly have a person checking on your progress.
I struggled (and sometimes still do) with having no energy or enthusiasm to work on my art.
No amount of motivational videos or pep talk from friends could make me feel driven.
But I still love working on my art.
I was just so unhealthy that I couldn’t get my mind in a state of inspiration.
I was always tired and ate terrible foods.
But lately I’ve been working on correcting my food intake, drinking more water and exercising.
And I feel more energetic and consistent in my production.
Sometimes it’s not that you’re uninspired or have art block.
It could just be your health.
If you have this struggle, reflect on your lifestyle and see where you can improve.
You can’t take care of your art if you don’t take care of yourself.