How to get back into a creative habit after a break
In 2020, I had gotten into a very steady and regular painting habit. I would paint everyday, even if it was only for 5 minutes late at night. In March 2021, I temporarily moved away from my studio, and that ended that wonderful streak. Now, 9 months later, I'm trying to get back to building it once more.
Here are a few tips if you're also trying to get into a creative habit after a long break:
1. Make it easy:
If I want to paint every day, I need to reduce the number of things to be done in order to get to the painting part. I keep my canvases primed, paints in order and my easel ready. I also make sure I have my reference photo picked because I don’t want to waste time staring at a blank canvas.
2. Start soft:
Don’t be too ambitious with what you begin with. Pick something that’s in your comfort zone. You don’t want to give up before you even start, do you? For now, just re-build that habit and leave the challenge for later. And for that, do something you already know how to and get that confidence going.
3. Have a sacred space:
Designate a space for you to be creative. Keep it clean and organised. Let your brain develop a Pavlovian response to that space - I am creative when I’m at this desk.
4. Ask for help:
Tell your family that you need your creative time. Let them take care of the baby, or do the laundry, or get the groceries while you are in your studio. They know more than anyone that you’re much more pleasant to be around after you’ve spent time doing what you love ;)
5. Don’t beat yourself up
If you miss a day, or aren’t able to churn out the quality you used to, it’s okay. The first 10 paintings I made after my break were all crap and will never be seen by anyone else. You’re rusty, and thats fine. Be kind to yourself. You’ll get there, I promise :)
Keep doing what you love!