January 1st, 2017 I decided to give myself quite an ambitious personal creative challenge: post a painting every day on my blog for and entire year. The theme: “Celebrate!!” Every day of the year is some national or international day of “something.” So for the rest of this year I’m going to attempt to post a painting every day that coincides with that particular “holiday.”
Now that I've gotten through the first few weeks of this challenge, I wanted to look back at the reactions I’ve noticed from my fellow painters to the challenge, and offer some encouragement to all of my painty friends in 2017!
I’ve heard everything from “wow, that’s quite a commitment,” to “I WISH I could do that.” And today I want to tell you, you CAN! But most importantly, if you can’t do it perfectly, so what?! ‘Tis better to have tried and failed, miserably even, than not to have tried at all, right?!
What is it that makes us so afraid to accept challenges like this? Especially this time of year...so many people are afraid to set any goals or resolutions for fear of failure.
Sure, I may very well miss a day here and there, I may fall behind, or I may even stop early alltogether. But that’s not the point...the point is that I am trying. It’s not important whether I succeed or not...what’s important is that I try. After all, what good are awesome ideas if you never try them?
So let’s break down this challenge. The scariest part is the frequency...every day. That’s 365 paintings over an entire year. Every. Single. Day. How can I possibly do something every day?!
Think about all the things you do every day that aren’t even that particularly enjoyable. I bet you can come up with a pretty long list. If I can make time every day to unload the dishwasher, brush my teeth, and change my underwear why can’t I make time to do a little painting?
Sure, I may do several days' worth of paintings on a day when I have more time to dedicate to it, but having that pressure to post something every day will ensure that I keep painting regularly, and keep painting things I wouldn't normally paint. Who knows what it may lead to?!
I love this meme going around on Facebook:
So take a chance on yourself this year! Don’t be afraid of not following through with perfection. Be brave enough to chance failure. Be FLAWSOME! The lessons you learn along the way are the real achievement!
Ready to challenge yourself? Whether your goal is to paint daily, weekly, or even monthly, Here are 5 tips to help set yourself up for success:
1: Dedicate a Space
Find a spot in your home where you can keep your paints set up & ready to go 24 hours a day, to avoid the setup and tear-down time.
2: Dedicate a Kit
If step 1 is tough for you, make a mini kit dedicated to your practice challenges. This way you don’t have to ever pack it up for a gig.
3: Remind Yourself
Whether it's setting reminder alerts in your smartphone, writing it on your calendar, or sticking a post-it on your mirror, find a way to remind yourself to paint!
4: Take the Pressure Off
Keep a running list of subject matter ideas ahead of time so you can get straight to the painting when you're ready! Nothing slows you down like staring at a blank canvas with no ideas.
5: Document it
Take photos of everything you paint & keep them in one spot where you can easily look back at your accomplishments. Look back often and see your progression!
Best of luck to you! If you've decided to challenge yourself after reading this, then congratulations! You've already won!!