Let’s face it: artists are on different career paths. Their scientists, lawyers, and others can even do the math.
Because life is what it is, the schedule can get pretty tight. These artists become too busy to pick up a paintbrush. They buy more novels from the store to let them sit on the bookshelf, untouched for years. If they’re lucky, they can sneak in a gig at a local pub to watch an emerging band whose tickets came with a free bottle of beer.
It can get pretty tough, but it’s not a hopeless case. Artists can always pick up their footing and start making art again.
Make Notes Colorful
For those artists who are still burning the midnight oil studying hundreds of pages for exams, color-coding should help you a lot. In a practical sense, color coding allows you to locate information easier. You can have yellow for important information, blue for definitions, and so on. According to studies, colors have different effects on memory retention and other aspects of learning. Green is great for concentration, and blue aids in productivity. These are colors to look for in your helpful marker set to make studying a little less stressful.
If you want to be a little extra, designs are never off the table. Calligraphy would be great for titles and subheadings. Big, science-y words can be less boring with lettering. You can illustrate cases for law school, too.
Sit Back and… Not So Relax
The thing about art is it’s everywhere. You see that billboard on the way to work? That’s design. Everything about your phone is also designed. Graffiti, magazines, articles—all of it involves art.
When it’s time to unwind, consider consuming media actively. Whenever you watch a movie, analyze it like MatPat of Film Theory. When you scroll through Instagram, take note of the techniques and style of the photographers you follow. By being an active audience, you can exercise your knowledge of these different art forms.
While you reconnect with your creativity, it’s crucial to remember that creativity is not the only thing that fuels art. So much of art is the implementation—what will you do with creative ideas? This is why reconnecting with your knowledge of style, elements, and every other technicality is essential.
On the other hand, don’t worry about technicalities just yet. When you’re starting to break into your artistry, wreak havoc on the material. ‘Wreak havoc’ as in ‘do whatever you want.’ Throw whatever you know out the window. Let your hand be free. Whatever goes into your mind, write it or draw it.
During this process, ignorance is truly bliss. Sometimes, knowing every rule to art is constricting, especially with self-criticism in artists’ brains. Don’t worry about creating something bad because the goal here is to create—to get in touch with that side again.
Consider this as one of the few instances where you don’t have to worry about failing. No one’s life is on the line. You don’t have to think about numbers and perfect sketches. In here, there’s no data to collect and interpret. It’s just you and the material you’re trying to fill.
Start with Baby Steps
Maybe what’s making you feel bad is the thought that you used to read one novel a day, paint enough for a solo exhibition, or finish writing an album. Those might be the good old days, and it helps to focus on the present. That part of you is not completely gone. Maybe it’s just laying dormant, waiting for you to come back to it.
It doesn’t happen in a day, though. This is why taking it one step at a time is an important way to get there. You can doodle on the corners of your books, like what you did in elementary. You can scribble in your journal at the end of the day as if you were in high school. Whenever you find something interesting and pretty, please take a picture of it with your phone, whether it is sneaking creative time between breaks or really sitting on it; these small steps matter.
Part of taking baby steps is celebrating small victories. So, when you manage to do these little things, pat yourself on the back for doing one act of creativity today. As the days go by, be more consistent with creating something until your projects go bigger and bigger. Once you’ve let go enough, remember the technicalities so that you can apply them to your art. In no time, you’re back on track.