Distracting the Distractions

Posted by Mary Gwyn Bowen on

In our crazy world today, distractions keeping us from our art making come at us from all sides, physical and digital. Distractions come in all shapes, colors and forms.  It's a daily battle.  What’s an artist to do to stay on track? This is my daily battle. It's not an easy one. For those who have no trouble shutting themselves off for studio time, I aspire to be more like you. Searching for answers from other artists, here are a few possibilities.

Belinda Delpesco has several good suggestions. Number 3 on her list is, “Make a date night with your art supplies. Ink in the time on the calendar, plan your pursuit for that slot, make some art, and then write down what you liked about it.” This, to me, is a great idea.  Its harder to give in to distractions when you have planned your time.  The drive is stronger when you are looking at your calendar and it is staring back at you.

In an article for Light Space Time Art Gallery, Carolyn Edlund speaks of the problem of “People Pleasing.”  This can be particularly difficult if you have a family at home or young children. Some of us have a difficult time saying, “No.” Edlund describes people pleasing as, “wanting to make everyone around you happy by doing whatever is asked of you.” Saying no may be easier if you have something specific planned.

My favorite suggestion comes from Vicky Rubin for Skinny Artist. Rubin’s suggestion is “a change of scenery can help you focus.” The article goes on to say, “Taking a walk or a workout is a healthy and inspiring distraction.”  Being Mindful is another recommendation, “enjoy and experience sensations of smell, feel, and touch.” Healthy and inspiring all at once.

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All three of these articles articulate why I began putting together the artist’s retreats.  The retreat forces people to make a date on the calendar for the retreat, For one week end, people pleasing comes to a halt. Lastly, and more importantly, the change of scenery connects to nature, with all the sights, sounds, and smells of growing things.Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life may be just what is needed to give your art a new kickstart. I always try to bring back, a leaf, a twig, a pine cone, an acorn or some other artifact to remind me of the sensations of being in nature. Sometimes just looking at that tiny bit of nature is enough to get inspiration flowing.

Join us on an Art in Nature Retreat!

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