Making Art a Priority

Posted September 15 2016

It’s easy to say we want art to be a priority in our lives. It’s harder to actually make it a priority. Part of the struggle is that the idea of “art as a priority” doesn’t have any physical mass. It’s purely an idea. An idea that can easily get shoved around. Remembering that it’s a priority and then standing up for that priority takes a lot of energy. Energy that could be going into our art.

This is why I’m increasingly becoming an advocate for the daily painting. The daily painting puts our commitment into a physical form. It gives us a bar to jump to. It says, “If I do this then I have made art my priority today.” It allows us to feel good about something tangible instead of always wondering if we’ve done enough on a given day.

The amount each of us has each day to dedicate to art varies. The daily painting doesn’t have to be a complex piece of work. Maybe it’s a 15-minute sketch. Maybe it’s a two-hour study. The final product must scale with what we know is possible in our own lives.

The daily painting (or daily sketch) isn’t for everyone. But if you haven’t tried it or are struggling to make time for your art, I’d wholeheartedly recommend it. Set a doable goal. Try it for a month. Maybe it won’t be a permanent fixture, but it will show you how to make art a priority.

Have you tried daily painting? How did it change (or not change) your practice?

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Kelly Anne Powers works on making art her priority over at her blog.