How To Get Out Of The Dark: Animation

Also Known as “How to kick your own butt”)

I’ve done my share of motivational reading but I’d hardly say I am an expert. I’ve read some of the philosophies out there and I think what works for me falls somewhere in the middle of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and “The Four Hour Work Week“.



I keep a to-do book – not a list because lists get lost in a house full of toddler art, junk mail and magazines.  In the book, early in the week I sit down and write everything I can think of that I would like to accomplish that week from chores to fine art. Writing two blog posts is usually on my list for example.

After my goals are written it becomes a game I play with myself to see how much of my list I can accomplish.

This does a couple of things for me.

One:  It puts me on track and helps me stay there. I often have short lulls in my day and my to-do book helps me use that time to get something productive done in that small window (since I usually have a handful of short tasks to accomplish every week. )

Two: It reminds me where I’ve been and what I’ve already accomplished. I have found it a good place to store incidental phone numbers and names because I know I will always be able to come back to the book and find them. Knowing where I’ve been reminds me where I want to go and helps me think through the things that I will add to the book  for the upcoming week.


I check out what competitions or shows are coming up and zero in on the ones I’d like to participate in. Nothing motivates me like a deadline.  Do I need to elaborate more on that? (I doubt it – we all have deadlines in one form or another)


I have a toddler.

I never realized how much time I lost, wasted or frittered away when I was single, and then married with no children until I had a child come along and demand to take up most of it. As a result I have learned to work in short concentrated bursts and I have also learned the value of routine and having a plan for the day. See if you can adapt this for yourself. Only allow yourself to work in the studio for an hour and a half at the most during a day. At the end of that time put it away. Maybe if you set specific times to work or allow yourself breaks at certain times it will help you get more done.

Don’t be afraid of ruining that pretty, perfect white canvas or of making art that you don’t like.

I know I’ve wasted too many hours fretting about NOT doing art and going nowhere and not being good enough to really try.

The only way to get rid of those nasty feelings is to make art! Make art on paper, make art on canvas, make art on fabric – whatever you do it on get going. =)


I Blog.  I have discovered that there are few things worse than having an art blog and having nothing new to post to it.  Right now I am still working out the bugs of some paintings, but the ability to post them here for you to see really excites me to finish the things I start.


So these things are some of the things that work for me. What works for you?


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