So it’s summer and we have some free time!…when we aren’t planning for next year, going to professional development, going on vacation, and catching up on our personal lives! But we have more free time than we would during the school year! I don’t know about y’all but I get some time to do what I love to do most! MAKE ART! YAY!
Now I’ve never wanted to be a professional artist, I feel like creating is so personal for me, and I LOVE teaching. So I’m happy to piddle in my studio, get creative, and give my art works to friends or family. But I still need some kind of motivation to get going sometimes! Here are a few things I do that get me ready to make some art!
Get Yourself a Deadline!
Okay I don’t know about y’all but I happen to be one of those scatter brained artsy people that get caught up in different creative tangents and sometimes never finish some things. So I find deadlines awesome for getting my hiney in gear!
Now if you don’t mind showing your art work every now and then, or often, it’s a great idea to look around for open calls for art work! Get yourself a deadline and try to get your art work into some shows! It not only helps you get your creative drive going, but it also gets your art work out there! Resume builder? YAS! Extra cash perhaps? YAS!
So I did some googling for you! Here are a couple of sites that will help you find your deadline!
The Art Guide: http://theartguide.com/calls-for-artists
WOOLOO: Besides loving the name http://www.wooloo.org/ allows you to create a profile and find art shows and they can find you! Snazzy!
Now if you’re like me and you aren’t crazy motivated to show your art work all the time find another type of deadline! Now (1) you can look at your calendar and give yourself a deadline and devote a little time each day to completing your desired project OR (2) you can let holidays and special events become your deadlines! Now I’m not going to lie, I get really motivated and creative around Christmas! Making things for relatives and friends lets you practice and create and give your gift to someone else! And there’s nothing quite so motivating when you know you haven’t bought someone a gift and you have to make them one before it’s too late!
The Guilt Trip…er I mean…Motivation
Now I hate to say this, but sometimes I have to motivate myself to get going in my studio! And, sometimes, that means I need to guilt trip myself into working! Here’s how I do this!
- Set an alarm on your phone. Particularly around the time of day that you know you’ll be wasting useful studio hours on binge watching Golden Girls on Hulu (it’s not just me is it?). Now you can’t just cross it off your to do list and move it to the next day, and you have to consciously hit the “stop alarm” button and resume Hulu. Makes you feel a little guilty doesn’t it? Wasting your studio time watching Netflix?
- Post in progress art pictures to Instagram or Facebook! (a) It’s really nice to get encouragement from friends, but (b) it’s also a good way to hold yourself accountable to a group of people to get your art work finished! Check out this awesome Facebook group where you can share your art with other art teachers!
- Get your friends/spouse on your team! And by that I mean get them to guilt trip you into working on your art! Boyfrand knows that when I haven’t arted in a while I get cranky and restless so he says things like “Hon, whatcha been working on in the studio?” or “Man the studio is a wreck WHAT have you been working on!?”…and I get the hint and go get busy on something!
- Clean the studio. I know it stinks! BUT I find that cleaning up all of my art supplies helps me remember all the cool ideas I’ve thought of while hanging in the studio!…and sometimes I stop mid-clean and get busy! Win-win I say!
- Take a class! PAY MONEY to give yourself creative time! I mean there is no better obligation is there?
- Craft night with friends! I got this idea from the LOOOOVELY Cassie Stephens! Get your friends together with your favorite beverages and snacks and make some art together!
- Go to a museum. Sometimes you’re creative juice is just …not there…when that happens I like to surround myself with art and I go to a museum! If you cant do that check out Google Arts & Culture! It’s worth a good look!
- YOUTUBE! Youtube different artists and tutorials! Learn more stuff and then try it out on your own!
- Your students! Show and tell your students what you are working on in your studio! Trust me they will ask you how it’s going and they will want to see a finished project!
In the end…
I know we are all busy, busy educators who just want to relax and enjoy our free time, but I think that ignoring our creative identities isn’t healthy! If you are in this profession I imagine that you love art and teaching as much as I do, but sometimes you have to focus on your own art production in order to maintain your passion and enthusiasm for your own teaching!
How do y’all stay motivated in your own art practice!? Share in the comments!