Whether you make art everyday as a matter of habit, or whether you’re doing it for some kind of challenge (eg: like the “Inktober” thing that turns up online every October), it can be something of a challenge. Ironically, the problem with making art everyday isn’t the actual drawing or painting itself, it’s coming up with 365 ideas per year of what to draw or paint. And, yes, you will feel uninspired sometimes if you make art every day.
So, although I’ve talked about this subject quite a few times before, I thought that I’d look again at some of the ways that you can deal with the inevitable uninspiration that will happen if you make art every day.
1) Have a buffer: Although you should try to make art every day, one of the things that can be useful for taking some of the pressure out of it is to be at least several paintings ahead of what you post online and/or show other people. If you’re just doing private practice, then this isn’t really practical but – if you’re showing your art off – then a buffer is essential.
You can build up a buffer by either making several paintings before you start posting any online or, you can build it up during inspired times by making more than one painting per day – but only showing off one per day.
This buffer should be a rolling thing, which you add to every day. However, if you are feeling extremely uninspired one day, then having a buffer means that you don’t have to worry quite as much about getting a painting out on that particular day. This can take some of the pressure off of you and help you to get into a mildly more inspired frame of mind.
If you’re posting art online, then finding a website that allows you to schedule your daily art posts in advance is also extremely helpful when it comes to reducing the amount of pressure on you, so you can focus more on actually making art.
2) Don’t be a perfectionist: If you make art regularly, then you will probably know that there will be some days when your art will be good and some days when it won’t. The most important thing if you’re making art everyday (especially in the early stages of doing this) is not to produce great art everyday, but to keep up the rhythm and momentum of actually making daily artwork. Even if it’s sometimes fairly crappy art.
A finished “terrible” painting that either goes online on time and/ or is finished on time is a hundred times better than an unfinished and/or late “great” painting.
Yes, putting crappy art out there might seem like a strange thing to do but, if you point out that it’s daily art, then people will probably be understanding. If they aren’t, then just ask them to make consistently great art everyday – most people will probably back down when they realise the impossible enormity of what you’ve suggested.
The thing to remember here is that posting daily art isn’t about constantly showing off how great an artist you are.
It’s about making yourself practice regularly, so that you can eventually become a great artist. Not only does showing it off encourage you to keep to your schedule, but it also inspires other artists too – both by giving them the idea to make daily art and also to show them that every artist has their “off days” or even “off weeks” sometimes.
Your published failures help to boost the confidence of other learning artists.
So, don’t feel too bad about posting a crappy/mediocre/uninspired etc.. painting online. If you actually made a painting, however bad, when you were uninspired- then you’ve won!
3) Find an easy genre: You’ll only really learn how to use this technique fully after you’ve been making daily art for a while, but there are certain genres of art that each artist finds to be “easy”. This varies from artist to artist but, when you’ve found a type of art that either looks very good with relatively little effort and/or is something that you can “do in your sleep“, then this is the thing you should make during uninspired times.
For me, these types of art include natural landscapes, still life paintings, silhouette art, remaking my old art, fan art and, more recently, some types of sci-fi cityscapes. But, your own “easy” types of art will probably be slightly different.
It may be boring to make, or you might feel like you’re “cheating” by taking the easy route – but you’ll end up with a finished piece of art by the end of the day. Not only that, you’ll also keep up the habit of making art, which means that it’ll be easier for you to throw yourself into making more “challenging” art when you feel inspired again.
4) Randomness: If worst comes to worst, just make something totally random. I did this quite a lot during the early stages of my daily art practices (eg: most of my art from 2012 looks slightly random, eccentric, generic or nonsensical) and I still sometimes do it today.
The important thing here is to make art everyday – so, even if you can’t think of a “story” for your painting or drawing, then just make something random. Just draw a random character and a random background. Just paint a random everyday object. Just make an abstract pattern. The important thing is to have a finished piece of art, however strange it might look, by the end of the day.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂