I go through waves of emotions as an artist. Often times I am not even aware of the different stages of my emotions as they cycle through very passionate, melancholic and sometimes egotistic states in my mind. Inspiration does not always come when I want it to and sometimes it comes unannounced. However, when it does come, it is unstoppable. If I am not inspired, I would spend hours on the internet or waste time on some meaningless work. Maybe this is one of the reasons why artists have a bad reputation of being labeled as lazy or not very productive.
About three years ago, I decided to set a goal of doing one painting or sketch a day and posting it daily on Instagram. It was an excuse for me to do something creative. I didn't expect myself to be able to follow through with it but I decided to try it out nevertheless. The first few days were the easiest, but by the end of the month I was tired and burned out. After making it through the second, third and fourth month, the thought of abandoning the project was constantly on my mind, but for some reason, I kept pressing on. I realized on a few occasions that the act of just painting and drawing triggered the creative process. It just started to flow and it wouldn't have happened if I had just sat around and waited for inspiration to come. By the time I completed my first year of daily Instagram postings, I came away with some insights on inspiration.
I've learned not to sit around to wait for inspiration to come. Just by starting the process of doing something creative such as sketching, painting or going for a hike may trigger the onset of inspiration. I have also learned a lot about time management along the way which was essential to achieving my goals. Armed with new insight on inspiration, time management and about a thousand Instagram followers, I decided to continue with my daily postings for another year. Just like everything else in life, the more one practices the better one gets and I was able to continue to develop my artistic skills through daily practice. I made it through the second year with 10K Instagram followers. In a month and a half, I will be completing my third year of posting one painting a day on Instagram.
Looking back, it seemed pretty clear to me that as an artist I needed to constantly evolve, experiment with new ideas, never get too comfortable and continue to push the envelope.
What matters to me most at this point in my life and at this moment is the realization that life is short and impermanent. With so many distractions in this day and age, it seems as if we are constantly chasing after something. However, I need to stay focused on my creative endeavors and be mindful of the present moment.