Did you know that keeping a sketchbook or notebook can change your life? Stay with me here.
In this article I’ll explain how 10 minutes of art a day even of doodling (or journaling) every day can leave you inspired to keep creating.
You’ve probably heard of social media art challenges, too, which I’ll explain later in this article. Participating in an art challenge can kickstart your creativity if you’re feeling stuck.
One Simple Notebook
Getting back to the notebook. It can be any kind of notebook— a simple spiral bound from the drugstore. Or it can be a beautiful leather bound sketchbook with thick watercolor pages. Sometimes the more minimal of a sketchbook is better, less pressure. The point is that you have given importance to your thoughts and goals. They are important. They need to be documented!
It’s been said many times: “If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal— you have a dream.”
The notebook serves as a place to write your ideas, goals, thoughts, and sketches. It serves as a regular way of documenting, editing, and brainstorming thoughts. Importantly it serves as a way to have accountability for things you want to achieve.
Every. Damn. Day.
This is the hard part. Have you tried to do anything extra— like exercising, reading, or meditating every day even for 10 minutes?
If you’re a busy mom like me, it seems impossible. But the truth is, you can find the time. If you can scroll on Instagram (and I’m guilty, too), you have 10 minutes to spare to be creative.
Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised, just like anything else.
If you want to keep your creative muscles nimble and learn how to be more creative on the spot, then you need to practice that.
Tip: Get yourself a simple notebook. Journal or doodle. Jot down your thoughts, ideas, dreams. Spontaneous style of drawing can be a stress reliever, did you know?
The benefits of keeping a regular practice is probably obvious— you will improve.
If you have a notebook, you can start documenting, editing, and brainstorming thoughts. You can draw or write anything you like. You can see your personal growth through time.
Your daily practice of documenting your thoughts inevitably becomes a positive part of your day. If you listen to your internal voice, is there something tugging at you? What is it? You know what it is and it’s probably more than one thing—a project, a specific goal, a drawing or painting you envision, or a skill you want to learn.
Get started on something and most importantly, be forgiving with yourself as it unfolds. Sometimes you shift directions on a goal midway through, as you’ve learned more about yourself and focused in on the details.
Tip: Start a simple 10-minute routine. If you are a creative person: walk outside and find something interesting. Take a photo for reference. Sketch what you see or write in your notebook some thoughts and goals.
A Little Progress… Goes a Long Way
10 minutes a day, 7 days a week, that’s a little over an hour of practice per week.
The 10-Minute Rule, it Works
The 10-minute rule is a methodology. It is used in many self-improvement areas and the philosophy behind is simple. It’s enough to make you feel like you did something when you’re done. It fits easily into your life and it’s not overwhelming.
Plus, if you extrapolate it over a full year, that’s 60 hours of practice you may not have been doing otherwise. Ten minutes a day can really add up to something significant.
Simplify your Goals
If you’re an artist, challenge yourself to design something using as few design elements as possible. What can you create using only round shapes? Or only lines? Or a two-color palette?
Simplifying forces you to examine how to use each element. This can help you invent new ways to incorporate elements into your designs.
Tip: Become a minimalist in your chosen field. When I started the long road into entrepreneurship as a new mom, I realized two things. First, I no longer had hours of quiet working time to devote to completing a large-scale complicated artwork. Second, if I was going to create something, I better do it now, and it better be simple and achievable. I had to break down research and sketching into 5-minute increments when my son was a baby.
Create a Vision Board
Vision boards are a great way to channel your inner creativity. Whether you are working with an actual cork board filled with stuff, or creating one digitally on Pinterest, being able to fill your board with colors, places, and ideas can help you stay in touch with your motivation and refer back to what inspires you.
Documenting visual reference of what you love (giving importance to your thoughts) can be as important as documenting your goals. It is a two-prong approach for achieving personal growth!
To What End? It will Motivate you to Take Action.
You might be asking yourself, what is the end goal?
I mentioned keeping a notebook can serve as a way to have accountability for things you want to achieve. When you see your written goals and sketches that seem like they’re improving over time, you will not forget them; you commit these things to your long-term memory.
You start to achieve incremental steps in daily practice and that can lead the way for progress. After progress, you will see improvement. After improvement, you may have a light bulb moment. It takes time.
In my experience, you will no longer have vague nagging desires, but clear, focused thoughts.
Tip: Give yourself some small achievable steps to take during the week to get closer to your larger overarching goal. If you need help with mapping it out, purchase a Panda Planner.
Art challenges can be a great way to kickstart your creativity.
Have you ever tried taking one photo every day for a year? I know it seems intimidating, but that’s exactly what 365 Project challenges you to do.
The Point Behind an Art Challenge
If you are feeling stuck, joining an online art challenge is one way to get you creating art regularly.
Often there are specific rules you follow like which medium you use or what subject matter to use. An art challenge gives you a starting place for you to establish a regular practice. When you are part of a larger community, you feel a bit less isolated.
You can pick the best art challenge that suits your needs. Some challenges have you draw every day, and others are more low-key with monthly deadlines.
Awesome Online Art Challenges
Below are 6 awesome online art challenges I recommend checking out!
I hope reading this post has encouraged you to keep a sketchbook or notebook, establish a daily practice, or participate in an art challenge. As a mom and business owner, it isn’t easy, but you owe it to yourself to listen to that voice inside you. You can and will crush those goals if you give yourself permission to take them seriously.
It is amazing to me what 10 minutes of doodling (or journaling) every day can do, it leaves you inspired to keep creating. If you are inspired to keep creating, you gain further insights into yourself and start narrowing in on what it is you really want.
Have you established a daily practice and seen positive results?
Maureen Lowe is a Bay Area native that relocated to the high desert mountains of Southwest Reno with her family in 2017. Mama to her active pup and toddler boy, Maureen is a textile designer and graduate of CCA San Francisco. With a lifelong love of nature and the arts, Maureen has made it a mission to explore Reno’s scenic trails and cultural offerings to find kid and dog-friendly outings that work in all seasons.