Create Your Daily Art Practice - Pattern and Design

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Create Your Daily Art Practice

The importance of creating your daily art practice. Design and Shine Podcast episode Heading with image of girl painting


If you are wanting to start achieving your pattern design goals then it’s really important to start setting some habits in place and start creating your daily art practice.

Create your daily art practice

And one of the things that are really going to help you get there is being able to start setting up a daily practice if you haven’t already in your art business. If you want to be a successful designer and you want to be able to sell your work then setting up a daily practice is a foundational step. It’s really important that you set those habits in place and that you’re showing up for yourself for your art so you can develop and nurture your skills. Developing your skills does take practice and the more you practice, the more you’re going to improve continuously get better and better. Not only that, your signature style will also begin to shine through, which is so important if you want to have longevity as a designer, if you want to stand out and be noticed and if you don’t want to be a cookie-cutter designer.

In other words, you don’t want to follow the same design flow and the same design aesthetic as everyone else. You want to allow yourself to develop yourself as a designer and that way to do that is by showing up for yourself every single day and creating your daily art practice. When you do, you want to be showing up without fear, judgment or expectation. This is your chance to really allow yourself to make a lot of mistakes, to explore, to create just for the sake of creating. And it’s creating just for the sake of creating that is going to really allow you to really nurture and develop how you like to work, what medium you like to work in and all of those beautiful things. And like I said, this is where not only are you going to nurture and develop those skills, for example, if you started drawing, imagine how much your drawing skills are going to improve just from the practice of doing it every day.

But not only that, it will also allow your signature look and style to really naturally emerge through this process, which is so, so important. If you do really want to stand out and become a successful surface artist in order to be able to commit to doing something, you really do have to create a habit of it and habit-forming can be quite tricky because it’s so easy to not commit to your habit when something else comes up and it’s easy to make an excuse not to do it. Forming a habit is about actually committing to showing up every day and doing something however small. That’s why I recommend this when you’re doing this to keep in mind that habits can take quite a long time to form.

How to start a habit

I really recommend that you start small, make it easy, make it fun and make it simple so you’re more likely going to show up for yourself.
I would recommend starting by committing to just 10 minutes a day. and I think the best way to get started if you can. I know a lot of people like to work on their iPad and I think that’s absolutely fantastic, but I would also recommend when you’re starting this process, especially if you are new to designing and you’re not that experienced yet, I would be doing your daily practice a sketchbook and by hand. Just pick a medium that you just want to explore and just start exploring that because drawing skills are really important to develop.
If you want to develop yourself as a surface artist, there’s no better way to do that than to just be drawing in a sketchbook every day. If you prefer not to use a sketchbook, you can use loose pieces of paper as well.

You can use whatever size you want. You can use a small, tiny sketchbook if using a larger sheet of paper is overwhelming for you or you could use a large piece of paper if you don’t like drawing small. You could use pencils, paints, marker pen, cut paper, whatever way you like and keep in mind it can evolve and change over time as well. But most importantly, is to do this practice regularly. Showing up in your art practice regularly will allow you to improve and develop continuously over time. It will be small and incremental, but if you keep doing this every day, once you finish your sketchbook if you look back to the start of it, you’ll see how much your skills have improved.

The great thing about doing this process as well is if you’re really coming to it with the intention of being very open and nonjudgmental and you’re just going to experiment. then you’re going to explore. Remember there’s no such thing as a mistake. You’re going to start developing lots of really interesting ideas that you can then go back and use for designs to come. This is why it’s a really, really great process to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re an emerging artist, you’re a beginner, or whether you’re a more experienced designer this is something that is really important to do in your art practice, regardless of where you sit in that sphere. It’s going to help you come up with fresh ideas, help you explore new ways of working and it’s also going to get you out of your head, which is really, really important, especially when you’re allowing your signature style to evolve as well.

Commit to a time and duration

In order to start this habit of showing up daily in your art practice, what I recommend doing is to make a commitment to yourself and to make a commitment for a shorter duration of time. Your commitment could be for 14 days. Then for the next 14 days, I want you to think about when and for how long you’re going to be showing up in your art practice. So for you that might be 10 minutes on your lunch break or it could be 10 minutes in the morning. Think about how you can fit this extra time into your day because I know a common complaint is I don’t have enough time, I’m really busy. But 10 minutes is really not a lot of time and if it’s important to you, then you’re going to make that a priority.

Choose your subject

I know a common complaint is not knowing what to draw. So something I recommend in the beginning of setting in place your practice is selecting what you will draw or paint. Maybe you want to select one object and you want to draw it every day for that 14 days or you want to explore it in different ways, or maybe you want to choose a variety of different objects. You may want to get a whole lot of photos of flowers and you want to paint them in watercolor every day. It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter if it is the same object but what I recommend is committing to which object you’re going to draw every day and write that down as well for your initial commitment.

Choose your medium

Lastly, I recommend committing to what you’re going to use, whether that’s working in your sketchbook with marker pens or whether that’s painting on watercolor paper, whether that’s painting in ink or whatever you would like to explore for the next 14 days. Then just commit to doing that every single day. And once as you’re done each day and you’ve shown up, tick if off on your calendar. Achieving your goals will help you keep going .

Once you’ve finished those 14 days, you will have started a daily practice and then all you need to do is to commit to another 14 days or another 30 days and before you know it it’ll just become part of your daily routine.

So I really encourage you to take the time to think about this, because if you do want to be a successful designer or artist then practicing every day is not only going to improve your art skills, but it’s going to give you lots of ideas to draw from, to create your pattern designs.
You’ll be able to work out what you like doing and what you need to work on as well. And you’ll really get to dive in and develop your own signature style which is so important if you want to be a successful designer or artist.

So start making a commitment to not only your art, but also to yourself.

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