Can't get started on your art? Introduce a ritual
In last week’s newsletter, Camey Yeh shared her rituals for art making (matcha and a chill hop playlist).
Since then I’ve been thinking about how pervasive rituals are to get us primed to start an action. Some examples from my own life:
Reading a few pages of Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart before I meditate in the morning
Filling up my water bottle before entering my workspace
Making an iced matcha after lunch to usher in the second half of my day
Starting a new sketchbook with a cacophony of color swatches and material testing
Entering “focus mode” in Sunsama and starting the timer before hunkering down on a project
And some examples from others:
When visiting Eugenia Mello’s studio, she shared how preparing papers for painting can get her mentally ready to create—one of the benefits of working traditionally
Beethoven counted sixty coffee beans every day to make his perfect cup before sitting down to compose
Maya Angelou rented a hotel room to write, insisting on no decor or art on the walls so she could "feel as if all [her] beliefs [were] suspended"
The key to a ritual before a difficult action is to make it feel good. For me, the notion of accurate time tracking tickles my analytical Virgo brain so I want to get started as soon as the timer begins. For you, maybe a delicious caffeinated drink or a good journaling session is what gets you primed to begin.
Do you have any particular rituals before creating? I would love to hear about yours in the comments!
On a logistical note, I’ve reorganized my Substack homepage to include a top navigation for Meet My Art Friend interviews and my Ask CYOO advice column! I haven’t sent one of these in a good while so aiming to get it started up again. You can leave any question or dilemma you have that you’d like some support on in this form here :)
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