The Discipline it Takes to Create Art

 

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

Over the summer, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my kids. We took several road-trips, and we undertook some home-improvement projects together. My kids range in age from nine to seventeen, and I thoroughly enjoy their company. They are old enough to appreciate the world with avid curiosity, and Carrie and I are having a lot of fun introducing them to new experiences.

Recently, we had a discussion on a profound topic: superpowers. The question was, “if you could have any one superpower, which would it be?” I’m sure this is a discussion every child has had at some point, and my kids began talking about the advantages of various powers: the ability to fly, invisibility, super-strength, super-speed, and so on. Cogent arguments were put forth for each, and then my daughter asked, “which power would you have, dad?”

I thought for a second, and then said, “Discipline. I would like to have super-discipline.” The kids looked at me quizzically – this wasn’t any superpower they had considered before. I went on to explain that it seemed to me that many of the great feats and accomplishments of history were achieved through vision and discipline. The best part of this superpower, I explained, was that it is actually achievable by mere mortals.

My kids rolled there eyes and said it didn’t count. “Lame,” my fourteen-year-old son said. I argued my case a bit more, but finally gave in and said that if they wouldn’t allow discipline as a superpower, I would take the ability to travel through time.

While discipline might not make the cut as a superpower, I would argue that discipline, especially self-discipline, is critical to one’s ability to achieve success in life. The ability to dream big and set goals is important too, but I would argue that without discipline, it’s nearly impossible to achieve anything worthwhile in life.

I feel this is especially true for artists. I marvel at an artist’s ability to get into the studio and work persistently toward his or her vision. An artist, it seems to me, must have an incredible drive to work day after day through difficult circumstances. It takes real discipline.

But what is discipline, and how does one acquire it?

Google’s dictionary defines self-discipline as “the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.” This seems like a great start, but how does one obtain this ability? How are the temptations overcome?

Over the years, I’ve spend a lot of time trying to cultivate self-discipline. It hasn’t been easy. I have aspired to do many things – build a successful art gallery business, create a strong family, and publish an engaging blog :-), to name a few. I’ve discovered that each of these goals is hard to achieve, and that there are many temptations to abandon those goals. I’ve worked very hard to develop discipline to work toward my goals. I’ve also learned that, for me, it isn’t enough to tell myself that I just need to be more disciplined. I struggle to remain focussed and am easily distractible.

I hope that some of what I’ve discovered about self-discipline will help you in your creative process. Before I share what I’ve learned, however, allow me to share what I heard from readers about discipline.

How Discipline Affects the Artistic Process

Several weeks ago, in preparation for writing my article about the hard work of creating, I asked readers how they feel discipline (or lack of discipline) affects their work. Their comments gave me an idea of the importance and challenges of maintaining discipline in the studio. Here is a sampling of the comments:

Discipline involves getting set up and prepared to paint. Lack of discipline affects my work by allowing household chores, gardening, caring for pets or obligations to friends to consume all of my time. To be able to paint, an artist must be selfish with their time.

Kim Blitho – Matong, Australia

 

If I am disciplined – setting aside frequent work days and following through on them – I get plenty of artwork done and I think my technical skills improve. There are times I can’t do this, and I feel my work suffers if I am more sporadic in my approach.

Lori Bradley – New Bedford, MA

 

My disipline with my art never lacks. Sixteen, eighteen hour days are not uncommon. If I’m not painting I’m working all the other areas that go along with producing art and selling..I love the challenge and have never not wanted to do it.

Mike Palmer – Jackson, MI

 

Discipline is key in creating and producing any form of artwork or design. One must be disciplined with their time, energy and focus.

Bentley Buran – Santa Monica, CA

 

I am not a social painter, I am more comfortable working alone, listening to CDs or Pandora. This discipline helps me to concentrate on what I need to do to be successful at art. I often meet with other artists after work and we share ideas and help each other. I feel that my schedule helps keep me focused, and I have the freedom to rearrange the routine if I feel it is important

Jenny Lankford – Marshall Texas

 

Discipline is everything. Without it, I find it very hard to stay organized and be creative. Structure and organization clear my head and give me the breathing space I need to be artistic.

Emily Randolph – Phoenix, AZ

 

I’m a reasonably disciplined person – I think it helps but it’s not everything. Showing up and just starting is worth a lot. Once you get started, it’s like eating potatoes chips, you can just stop with one – you keep going.

Cindy Wagner – Huntsville, AL

Techniques that Have Helped in My Development of Discipline

These comments reflect my experience with discipline as well. While developing discipline is a long process, I’ve found four key approaches that have helped me become more disciplined.

Routine

First and foremost, I’ve learned how important it is for me to have a routine and, as much as possible to stick to it. Life is crazy, and there are always a myriad of activities that need to be done. I find that if I’m not careful, I can easily spend all of my time stamping out fires and never working toward my goals.

It’s even harder for me to concentrate if my weekly schedule devolves into chaos. I’ve created a daily routine that allows me to get to work early and focus on my big projects first. I try to rise at the same time every morning, I leave for work at the same time, and I block out regular time each day to work on certain projects. When I’m in my routine it’s much easier to work in a focussed way. I never have to wonder what I should be working on at any given time – my routine tells me.

I’m very reluctant to allow intrusions into my routine.

I know many artists struggle to create a routine because they have to juggle full-time jobs, family responsibilities and other priorities before they can get into the studio. I would argue that even if there are only a few hours a week available to create, it’s best if you can make those hours into a routine, and then protect that routine with all your power.

Eliminate Distractions

The time that we do have to work and create is even more fragile today because of the myriad of distractions that are ever-present. Electronic devices are powerful tools, but they are also powerful distractions. If at all possible, I would urge you to turn off your phone while you work, or at the very least, silence your notifications. Every time you pause to see what’s happening on Facebook or to respond to an email, you lose momentum and your precious creative time slips away.

Work on One Thing at a Time

I’ve learned that if I want to accomplish something, I have to concentrate on it. While writing this post, for example, I’m not also trying to develop a new marketing plan or rehanging the gallery. All of those things are important, but I’ve learned that when I start a task, I need to stick to it until it’s finished, and then move on to the next. I would far rather finish one job, than start three and not complete any.

Make a List

I find that having a to-do list helps me keep my focus. The act of writing down my tasks helps me feel I’m in control of them, and it also assures me that I won’t forget to do anything. I discipline myself to never do anything that pops into my head right when it occurs to me. I put it in my to-do list so that I can make sure I’m completing the tasks of highest priority first.

 

How Have You Developed Discipline?

What have you done to cultivate discipline in the studio. How do you motivate yourself to stay on track? What are the challenges you face in maintaining discipline? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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41 Comments

  1. Thank you for this article, I’ve had a couple of weeks away from the studio due to a family funeral interstate only to return and be struck down with the flu and pneumonia. I’m now completely out of sorts just when the universe is sending me so many opportunities to put my art out there and promote my business – I don’t want to miss out on any of them because I cannot get disciplined.

    First priority today is re-establishing my TO DO list, focusing on one thing at a time and re-developing a routine. I love the idea too of not being distracted by something that pops into your mind – instead add it to my ‘to do’ list – great advice….

    Thanks
    Theresa Rule
    TR ART79

  2. I would add that working on something is usually better than working on nothing. If an artist has no big visionary project in progress (or has no appetite for it today) there’s always something that can be done. Technical skill development, continuing education, market research, or just getting into an environment that is more conducive to creativity and work. Studio work got you down? Go outside. No new ideas? Go for a run. Sometimes moving the body can help move the mind. I like the old saying: “You can’t do everything, and shouldn’t do nothing, but you can do something.”

  3. I find a too strict discipline can kill the heart of the artist. Yes I am very disciplined but I also know to be skillfully gentle on myself when my body and spirit need a break. The discipline for me is foremost with my own personal life (daily meditating, stretching, walking, eating well) which ‘prepares the ground’ for the rest to unfold. Its’ a very fine line that I dance on everyday so that my integrity toward the work is always a wholistic process which is ultimately transmitted into the paintings.

  4. I was a college athlete (basketball), I have taken the same principles athletes typically use for training, fundamentals and game preparation and applied them to my art career. I set goals and plan the week, the month and the season (year) to advance my skill and career. Golf might be a better analogy for some to relate to….golfers play something like 15-25 tournaments a year but in between tournaments there is a lot of time training, going to the range, working on fundamentals (sand shots, putting, etc.), as well as managing the business of their profession. For me, the seven day week is divided up with 2 days plein aire, 1 life drawing session (3 hours), and 4 days studio. I typically paint in the studio from 8:30 to 2:30 (during the week, longer on weekends) before I have to pick my son up from school in the afternoon. This gives me a short and needed break in the afternoon, to decompress a bit after my studio session, leaving the remainder of the day for business and other art related tasks not requiring time at the easel. The time I spend weekly doing Plein aire and drawing are like going to the range, working on fundamentals. I have a calendar and check off each day as to what I accomplished. It does not always go to plan, just like life, but having written goals and plans for the week, month and year give me a higher probability that it will happen, giving me a greater chance for being successful. I applied this same thinking and approach to my successful corporate career in healthcare before I left to pursue art full time.

  5. This year I have evolved from driving myself crazy to get to work. First, I walk, take care of the cat, eat a good breakfast and then study the energy: Bursting? Start something new. Reflective: Begin to work on the overall painting. Calm? Pay attention to details, decide if the piece works. So on any given day, I have several projects to work on, depending on how I focus. I feel more relaxed, yet eager to get to work.

  6. The time management lesson was an eye opener. I jealously stuck to the “Ideal week” plan and even practiced spreadsheet design as I modified the templates. I could feel myself slowly but purposefully adjusting my routine. [Disclaimer- I’m “retired” from a teaching position where time management was a given and given to me.]

    I knew there would come a time when the ideal week and I would diverge. And it did- when I needed to do a major project for our community- organize and build a summer music series in August. Little delegation of responsibilities was possible. So here I am writing a post about discipline.

    Mary Manning above has handed me a golden key. After the cats, breakfast, and the morning schedule (gym 2 days a week- visiting an old prof/colleague) she has suggested checking the energy. Voila- work to your energy. It seems that the flexibility I feel I need can be dependent on the energy I have. So- all my unfinished lessons in ABA will get finished with no guilt and the ideal week will creep back.

  7. I believe discipline is one of the most important characteristics an artist needs. It is very easy for life to take over your creating time. I go to my studio every morning by 10 unless family needs me or I have an appointment. This week I am caring for my husband after his back surgery but I will be back on schedule as soon as I can. I agree with a couple of statements others made. Setting a specific time when you will be working is vital. Just showing up in the studio is the first step. Being there surrounded by my art inspires me. I also have a routine once I get in the studio – get into painting clothes, set up clean up area, get a canvas on the easel and then breathe and look around. Then pick a color, a brush and paint.

  8. Wonderful post Jason, very valuable information. I believe planning and intent are routine and reward are key. On Sunday night I fill in an A4 weekly planner firstly marking in all appointments and then I block in my painting sessions and what stages of my paintings I plan to work on maximising the good hours of light in my studio. I also mark in a writing task each day so that there is no mad panic at the end of the month when I send out my monthly inspiration newsletter. I set the timer for blocks of 1 hour for my painting sessions and when the buzzer goes off I am allowed to have a cup of tea or coffee in my rose garden, my reward for being disciplined. By using this system I increased my number of painting hours per week from about 8 to 20 and I feel so much more productive and focused.

  9. Really liking this topic and it is right on point for me, Jason. The summer is coming to an end in these parts and school begins a week from today. I moved in late spring, have spent summer settling in as much as possible while transporting my 10 year old granddaughter around. The last several days, I have been telling myself, “I’ve got to get back to a routine!”

    Love what you said about the kids not thinking discipline is a superpower, too.

  10. As an artist I’m uncomfortable, as ever, with the notion that art is work we do that’s so much more difficult than anything else. That it requires a mighty sense of discipline to accomplish. I’m reminded of a sign I once saw in a bar – “The day you stop enjoying the game, get the hell off the field.”
    If we are not enjoying our work as artists, what are we doing here? If I had to talk myself into painting every day, why would I be doing it?
    For my money, all work is noble – artist, auto mechanic, teacher, baker, you name it.

    To elevate one or another is unrealistic at best and elitist at worst. I can think of many times when I was happier to find a good mechanic for my car than an artist.
    This idea of the struggling artist who must seek extraordinary discipline and should be admired for that is not one I can embrace.

    Joy is more my cup of tea and joy does not preclude mastery by any means.

  11. Discipline is vital for me, I keep in shape with lots of jogging, swimming & cycling, this helps me to maintain my focus for my work. I live alone in my studio surrounded by my artwork, art materials & tools of my trade. I am very rarely disconnected from my work.

  12. All great ideas,Jason, and I can’t say enough about the importance of sticking to routine. I’m up at 4:50, feed three demanding cats, get coffee brewing (that I’ve set up the night before), step outdoors and check out the stars, then sit down at the computer and weed through emails, make lists, and take care of business. I might update my website, write a thank you note to a purchaser, or start writing my next newsletter. By 6 am, I step away bring my husband his coffee and listen to NPR. We review our day which I jokingly refer to as our “staff meeting “. That’s when I can emphasize that I need concentrated time in the studio.

    We use iCalendar religiously, have our appointments color coded, and I block out my painting time weeks in advance. I usually keep Thursdays blocked for plein air painting and that’s frequently at Grand Canyon ir Sedona. If I slip up and get a little negligent about this it’s amazing how life’s entropy intrudes. People remark sometimes that I’m so organized; it’s just sheer discipline!

  13. I appreciate the focus you place on the nuts-and-bolts of an artistic practice. I think your blog addresses real-life issues of an artist’s work intelligently and well. Addressing the subject of discipline, I discovered early in my artistic career that working to deadline really helps. I do commissioned artwork, so I need to be organized and keep my deadlines, but there are many self-imposed deadlines that help me stay focused to produce fine art that is not for a specific client. I meet entry deadlines for group shows and (increasingly) work towards creating consistent bodies of work that I use for solo exhibition proposals. This practice has served me well for many years of life as an artist.

  14. All of the above comments resonate. along with your thoughts, Jason. Kids point of view notwithstanding, Discipline is very much a superpower in the real, adult world. (But in my alternate world, I’d choose time travel too!)
    A friend and I created a tool that we’ve been using for a year now, and we both consider it the single best thing we’ve done for our lives and work. She’s a business owner and author, I’m an oil painter. Both our lives come with the full complement of families, animals, hobbies and life. When we were overwhelmed we came up with a method of sorting through the upcoming week, making sure that all the areas of our lives were being addressed and all the essential deadlines and projects got written into the week’s ‘homework’ list, ideally with the intended day to do them. We live on opposite sides of the country, but every Tuesday morning we talk for about 45 minutes, each of us going over our upcoming week, getting and giving advise on how to handle problems that come up, and helping to sort things out so they are less overwhelming. Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week now – I know where I need to be for the week, and have a plan for how to get it all done. Discipline comes much more easily when you can see the path.

    1. This sounds fabulous, Terry. Thank you for sharing. I’d love to know more if you care to share it. I have found over the years that having a partner to be accountable to and visa versa, is very helpful to me.

      Lynne Oakes

  15. The best thing I ever did for my self-discipline was to read and follow the steps in the book “Self Discipline in 10 Days” by Theodore Bryant. A couple of years ago I went to a lecture at Gallery 110 in Seattle, WA titled: Self Discipline for Artists and Entertainers, offered by Mr. Bryant, it was really helpful in keeping me on track and creating.

  16. Great topic, Jason, and partly opportune timing. Disciplining myself is easier when I have a specific goal in mind. In my case, after a year and a half of life-empacting events, I have designated this year for full focus on my studio work. As it happens, earlier this year, I was offered a solo show in January 2018 and so my goal is set. My biggest challenge is disciplining my mornings (I am not, and never have been, a morning person) so that I get into the studio at a reasonable time – I’m working on tightening up my morning to-do list.
    Because there are several variations on my show theme that I am working on, I find it helps me to designate a time frame for different projects so I can move each one along. Painting requires a full day to couple days focus at a time, so those days that don’t require my energies dealing with day-to-day life needs mean I paint. Other projects that are smaller, more incrementally structured pieces are worked on the other days. I set a timer, say for 45 minutes and up to 1 and 1/2 hours, to work on one and then move to another. That way, I feel like I’m making headway – with the goal not to find myself in a panic condition because something hasn’t been completed. I have a project shoebox (low tech), if my energy isn’t in sync with one project that I draw, I give it at least the minimum time, and move on to the next.
    I really like the idea that Terry suggests of connecting with a colleague/friend to support efforts in moving forward each other’s goals.
    Great response, all!

  17. Doing my art requires no discipline at all. I just do it with love and willingly, every day, with no pressure whatsoever. I guess I have been blessed. Since I started working both traditionally and digitally at cutting-edge art since my late twenties, I have, on occasion, suffered “blocks” during which I could not do anything creative at all. But I always knew, deep down, that these fallow periods were just that: new creative ideas were growing in me even as I went about my business of simply living and experiencing, gathering the energy and information necessary to take my art to the next level. Creativity, for me, has been like a fat, juicy carrot tied to a horse cart. It swings your way and you take a big bite. Then it swings away again as you munch and wonder if it will ever come by again. But if you are totally committed to being an artist, it always does come back and you once again have a delicious feast. I don’t believe that art ever travels in a straight line; there is a spiritual component to it and every artist must patiently allow the process of growth to unfold. Also, here’s what makes you know that you are an artist: you never ARE NOT an artist. A bank manager or a physician takes a vacation now and then, and when they are on vacation they don’t manage the bank or see patients. An artist is always an artist; waking and sleeping. I have had dreams of colors streaming into my eyes. So “discipline,” for me, is a construct that does not fit the truly committed artist. I surrender to the purpose of making something creative every day I am blessed to do so.

    1. Thank you so much. I can truly relate. This makes me feel hopeful that this has been a time of gathering and growing. I know deep in my heart that a change is taking place, that the creativity will swing back my way. I’m truly looking forward to bravely, but ever so cautiosly stepping into the next vision.
      And Jason, you have also greatly encouraged me as well, as i feel as tho my liberty from structure and self discipline had gotten quite a bit out of control, and thereby unproductive. Ready to come back to a Happy balance. Thank you so much. This applies to so many parts of our lives.

  18. I only spent five years on my uncle’s farm as a teenager but the lessons gleaned there have stayed with me. My uncle was one of those quiet people who led by example. He had long term goals with crop rotation and seasonal maintenance. He planned for seeding through the growing season to a critically timed harvest. Strategy.
    The rhythm of farm life varies from slow to highly active. I was always struck how adaptable he was to immediate problems, such as his wheat combine breaking down … he structured his work week assuming an emergency and altered his daily plan with the ease of shifting gears. He was willing to work ridiculous hours during harvest or when weather threatened, even to driving a tractor with headlights in a corrugated field after ten at night. Not unusual … part of farming.
    This romantic ideal of what a working artist does needs to be tempered with the realization it is long hours, intellectually and physically demanding, and often without reward. What did you expect?
    Art is sort of like farming … I remember my uncle borrowing $17,000 worth of seed one year. On the hope it would grow. On the hope he could sell it. On the hope he would make enough to live on into the next season.
    No one made my uncle get up at 4a and go to the fields on a frosty morning. He didn’t ask me if I wanted to … I was expected to go. I learned this is what it takes, no matter what your vocation. Discipline.

  19. Excellent article. My super power would be the capacity to see into people’s hearts. As for discipline, I find a definite routine helps. It gets interrupted on occasion and having set times for work makes it easier to get back into routine. For me, I prefer having several projects on the go at once. If I finish everything at once I tend to stall. It is also handy having other things to do as I wait for paint to dry!

  20. There is a difference between producing art resulting in a prolific series of work for a show and producing work that is created with intention. I find that when I am working intently on a concept, I need to make decisions long before I even enter the studio. Discipline for me, is to NOT act on every creative idea I have.

  21. Really interesting reading everyone’s thoughts on discipline. When I get to my studio I usually begin work by writing my journal, it’s mainly a work journal where I write up what I’m presently working on and what recent changes I might have made. I then catalogue some thoughts on moving forward, what to do next in a painting, it might be change a colour or totally paint over an area that just isn’t working. Writing really helps me focus my ideas on what I want to achieve over the next few hours and is a great record of my work and the things that are influencing me at that moment in time. After that I find it so much easier to get down to painting.

  22. Most people exclaim ‘you are so patient’ when they learn of my technique. Now I have a better explanation DISCIPLINE. Can you think of a jovial presentation for your pithy insight so it doesn’t come across as judgmental?

  23. A timely article, as so many of your articles are. As for you wishing for the super power of discipline, I believe you already have that in spades with all that you achieve! Until this summer, I would have said that I had a lot of discipline regarding my work. I just naturally get to work painting every day, weekends included. I don’t wait for inspiration, I just jump in and soon find myself lost in the process. This summer though I reluctantly took on a commission for a friend to whom I owe a lot. The commission is not in a style I enjoy or am good at, but I didn’t feel I could say no as I as truly indebted to this person. I really wish I hadn’t taken it on though. It’s been a very large project, time-consuming and unsatisfying. It’s left me feeling very unhappy and unsettled. I can’t wait to get back to my regular routine and my own work. I’ve learned that I need, not only the discipline to work regularly and consistently, but the discipline to say no to things that obviously aren’t in my best interests.

  24. This article came at the right time for me. After being away from the studio for three months while packing one house, moving and unpacking in the new one, setting up my interim studio and going on vacation, I’ve noticed that I have been getting up later, running errands or reading Facebook far to much. By the time I get to the studio, it’s the middle is the afternoon. Not good.

    I recall an article you wrote a while back, Jason, on handling email and you mentioned that you do that in the afternoon. You also included a copy of your weekly schedule (if I’m remembering correctly). With the fall show season just around the corner, it’s time for me to pull out that schedule and pull myself up by my bootstraps and start getting stuff done. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  25. Especially important for me is the “one thing.” I so often have multiple projects with new news coming into play. I find that if I must work multiple projects at a time, that I need to map their times out carefully. But with one project, one can totally focus, lose themselves, and devote themselves entirely…which is bliss!

  26. It is no big secret. I have known some great artists in my life. One of two things they all have in common. (1) a spouse that takes care of almost all the daily obligations from bill paying to raising the children to business and promotion of their art. They are left with nothing but time to paint and create. (2) complete selfishness to the point that they have divorced , their children are estranged and they live in a little world of their own.. This second group are quite good artists but rarely successful financially. There are of course a few exceptions but few and far between. That is the way I see it.

  27. For my super power I’d like to be able work at lightning speed so that I can be infinitely more productive.

    During my final year of Art College we would work into the wee hours of the morning taking turns with other students on the old sofa in the classroom for a nap before finishing an assignment for the next day. I erroneously told myself that I’d never do that again after I graduated. The week after I graduated I stayed up all night long to finish a freelance project for a client.

    I don’t think that is the best example of discipline. Keeping life in balance is always a challenge. If I keep the more mundane things about the business of art in order such as marketing, accounting, managing inventory and research, then I can be free play in the studio without the weight of the other hanging around my neck. For me, the first requires consistent, focused, discipline but without it I don’t have the freedom to enjoy the other.

    Discipline is not a negative concept in my world and every once in a while I have to blow up my schedule and what I have planned so I can spend time with family on a day trip or take advantage of an opportunity in front of me.

    I do prefer to work on several pieces of art at once. I can get too focused on detail at the expense of the overall composition if I don’t step away from a project for a while.

  28. Discipline can also be a learned thing. A couple of years ago I attended a 4 month course called Studio Process Advancement. It was tough and mentored by some of the best artists and instructors in our area. I walked away with a feeling that I had total control over the time I can spend on my art and the rejuvenating time I can spend with family and personal goals. I now create 5 times the amount of work I was before the course and I see much more of my family well as including healthy lifestyle time. I definitely set studio hours and stick to a reasonable schedule. To me, the worst thing any professional can do is too much multitasking and not enough time for thoughtful processing.

  29. Nowadays there are so many things to think about being an artist than years ago. There is now much more self promotion involved which includes social media, blogging, keeping up websites and everyday office work. One way I have created discipline and also reminders of items pertaining to those just listed and more is “bullet journaling”. I keep my bullet journal beside me at all times now as I am working to jot down many items, including thought process for a painting as I am working, supplies needed, inspirations, notes, blogging ideas, promotion items, etc. I find this bullet journaling process lets me check off what I have accomplished and easily move forward items that still need to be done. Online I have noticed many peoples bullet journals can be very extensive and almost over created, but I keep mine very simple as I want the time that I spend creating filtered to my art work and not a journal.

  30. I totally agree. Discipline is key. I sometimes have to force myself to get in the studio and do something especially after a rejection or disappointment. I continue to do so because it is only in that way the I have gotten to where I am. Which Id like to believe, is on the way to success. 😊

  31. I feel so lucky. I’m retired from the 9 to 5 world and am always eager to get into my studio. The business side of things is also not a problem for me, since I enjoyed my previous jobs, all relating to running an office. One idea I would like to recommend is forming an accountability group. Find four of five artists who are friends or people you would like to know better, and form a group. We have a messenger thread that we check into every Thursday. We post our art related goals for the coming week as well as report on our past week. Once a month we take turns hosting a get together where we share what we’ve been working on. For some reason, posting goals seems to make them more concrete and getting together with friends just feeds the soul!

  32. Discipline is not a chore but a joyful habit of pursuing all your dreams and goals.
    If you want to be a serious professional artist you have to have desires, direction or goals and discipline.
    All these won’t take any joy out of creating art if this is your true passion.

  33. Whether it was painting, writing, work or any other activity, discipline is the centerpiece of success. Having the faith that you will produce and just starting makes the difference whether a task will be completed or not. As Henry Ford said, “If you believe you can or believe you can’t, either way you are correct.” Or as the kids say today:” Just do it!”

  34. Discipline is the super power I would like for myself also. I have a father that is a legend in the soccer world, and growing up with the expectation of myself, you have to be something big, has been paralyzing. Raising my children, they are making amazing goals happen for themselves, that others can only dream about. I am there supporting them, believing in them. They all show the discipline from within, setting goals they want to achieve, and get up again when knocked down. Psychology plays a huge roll in ones desire to accomplish. When I create my art, I feel fulfilled, like I feed the soul, yet the inner critic is there. The self defeating words, that I would never say to my kids. My discipline is learning to be my own coach, support, having unconditional acceptance. Conjuring the discipline to believe in oneself. The discipline to acknowledge the inner critic, smile at her, and pick up the brush.
    Thank you for writing your article, you have brought up so much for so many.

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