The Challenges of Consistency
Lately, I've been coming across the mid-progress posts of various creatives involved in these 365-day challenges--the ones that usually begin around New Year's Day, involving promising to do something consistently every day of the year (sketch 365, 365 days of doodles, photograph-a-day, blog 365, etc.). No matter what name you give it, there is something uniquely rewarding about doing something EVERY DAY, as opposed to once a week, month, or whenever inspiration hits.
What's so magical about doing something every day? I remember back (was it really THAT long ago?!) when I was in my first year of undergraduate studies, I took an intro to painting class. One of our very first assignments was to paint 15 paintings in one day. We were told to set a timer and give ourselves no more than 5 minutes for each of the first 10 paintings. When the timer went off, we were to stop wherever we happened to be in the painting and move onto the next. After we completed this assignment, we had to do 5 more paintings with 10 minutes each. For the first couple of paintings, I remember not getting terribly far before the timer beeped--and, out of frustration, I may or may not have continued painting a little past the timer to finish the area I had been working on. After 4 or 5 paintings, I finally got into a groove and was able to even finish a few! By the time I got to the 10-minute paintings, I found, to my surprise, that I was able to finish my paintings well before the timer dinged--and actually had time to go back and add extra details!
All this is to say, there is something incredibly freeing (and initially terrifying) about doing something in repetition--whether it be every 5 minutes or every day. Being under time constraints can be scary because it means that there isn't a lot of time for fixing mistakes or staring at a blank paper...you have no choice but to commit to an idea and let go of the need for perfection. While I have never done one of these 365-day challenges, I have, for the past 5 years of my art career, committed to a consistent studio practice. Being consistent in my practice--be it painting, prepping canvases, blogging, sketching, or something else entirely-- means I'm always taking steps forward to keep the momentum going. As I discovered back in my undergraduate painting class, once you get into a groove, that curtain of perfection will lift and you will discover things will start to get a little easier and eventually become a natural and integral part of your day (habit).
Looking to make a change? Why wait till 2019? Give a consistency challenge a try--be it every day, every week, or month--consistency is key.
Welcome to the whimsical world of Tara Pappas' mixed media art! Thank you for stopping by to view samples of my work and read a little about my adventures as an artist. I am always looking for new ways to connect and grow as an artist, so would love to hear from you if you have any questions or interests in a particular piece. I hope that my work brings you inspiration and joy!
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