Inspiration is overrated. Instead of waiting around for the ideal conditions, try this:

As a teacher and artist, I’ve come across the notion of creative block, writers block, painters block–whatever you call it. My students would often say, I don’t have any new ideas. I don’t know what to work on next. My studio is such a mess, I need a cleaning day. I’ve spoken to artist friends who state their fears of running out of ideas or “drying up.” I find all of this nonsense and a tangible representation of their fears of working—of creating the work that needs creating.

I am a firm believer in building one’s routine for daily working. I’ve written about this at length when discussing loading your mind with new ideas. Simply put, working begets working. New ideas arise through process and process is often enjoyable. Chuck Close puts this into context when interviewed by Joe Fig for his book titled, Inside the Painter’s Studio

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art ida.’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere.

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I never had painter’s block in my whole life.

So what’s your routine? What keeps you working? I’d love to glean from you any bits of wisdom you will share.

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