"Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits."
I started meditating daily 5 months ago. This has been the single most impactful thing that I've ever done in my life (other than having a child). I get up each morning at 4 AM, head downstairs while everyone in the house is still asleep, and sit for 30 minutes... witnessing thoughts as they arise. Not trying to get rid of them, or judging them as good or bad, just witnessing. What this has brought into my life is really noticing my patterns of thought. How I view the world and what happens in it. The first key to changing your life is to understand your patterns, then you can be intentional about releasing old ways of being and creating new patterns.
I've been spending the last two months creating a 2015 strategic business plan for my art (more on that later). This year, I wanted to do something to really challenge myself to build my skill as an artist. As I started to really dig into my patterns around creativity, I realized I have been stuck in this same cycle since I started painting 4 years ago. It looks a little something like this:
- Feel inspired > spend 2 or 3 hours maniacally painting > think "this looks amazing!" > pat myself on the back > check the "create something" box as done > ride the high for the next few days > find it really hard to get back into the studio > a week later force myself back to create
- Feel inspired > spend 2 or 3 hours maniacally painting > think "this is shit!" > beat myself up about my lack of skill as an artist > spend a week thinking about how I will never be a real painter > find it really hard to get back into the studio > a week later force myself back to create
As a result of this creative process, it feels like my progress as an artist is struggling along at a halted pace. 2015 is the year that I break this destructive cycle. Rise above my current mode of operation, shatter the glass ceiling I have imposed upon myself and push through to a new level of being. As I pondered how to do this, I came across Lisa Sonora and her 1,008 Paintings Project (which she accomplished in 2 years and 4 months). I was deeply inspired by her commitment and intrigued by this concept of setting a huge stretch goal for a number of works of art to create. Maybe something similar would help me to break out of the rut of the past 4 years. If I had a lofty goal, it would force me into the studio every day. Insert Project 865.
Project 865 = 500 paintings + 365 art journal pages in 2015. That averages out to 1.4 paintings and 1 art journal page each day. Daunting, challenging, but doable if I am focused and have a plan. Here is my plan:
- Keep a notebook of ideas and sketches to track inspiration (more to come on inspiration later)
- Add daily studio time to my morning routine
- Paint 1 painting, then 2 the next day, and so on (to average about 1.4 a day)
- Keep a log of all finished pages and paintings - check in monthly to make sure I'm on track
- Start collecting cardboard, chipboard, kraft paper - ANYthing I can use as a substrate
- Stay open to exploring any style, theme, subject matter
I will be back later this week to share with you how Project 865 is going so far and what I've learned. You can follow this daily journey on Instagram via my profile @carlymmojica and the hashtag #project865.
What about you... do you set goals for creativity? Or in your personal life? How do you stay focused and keep track?