1. Be proactive. Negative thoughts get in the way of the brain waves to the brush or pen.
2. Work to a daily schedule i.e., four hours a day five days a week. A routine allows for a rhythm and that’s good for creating. Gives time for yard work.
3. Shut out distractions, take deep breaths, slow down, and focus. Shut off the talking and video devices! Mozart or some cool jazz is ok though.
4. Work a number of pieces in rotation so that you don’t get stale looking at the same work day after day. “I can’t see the forest for the trees” syndrome can set in.
5. Take time to study. Be informed with blogs, magazines, and books. The older we get the less we know, right?
6. Clean your brushes/pens and leave your studio ready for the next day. It’s like crawling into a bed that has clean sheets. Ahhhhhh!
7. Take time off. Working day after day without a break can cause brain damage. My best work sometimes happens after a 72 hour break. Try it you’ll like it!
8. Surround yourself with supportive people and stay positive. If I had a dollar for every person that told me I couldn’t do something I’d be rich. The naysayers can go nay!
9. Set aside time each week to work on marketing. Art work is a commodity just like any other product. Most laypeople do not know how we make sausage. We have to help them understand it takes some luck, but mostly knowledge, hard work, and lots of patience.
10. Create art because you enjoy it. As an illustrator there were deadlines I had to meet and after a while the treadmill got very, very, old. Now I paint for the pure joy of it. I often tell my wife,” The time flies when I’m in front of my easel, but think of it this way…. It’s keeping me out of the bars!” She likes that!