So it seems fitting that today is Bundt Cake Day as, personally, it’s the perfect day to celebrate with cake. I’ve just hit a major milestone here on Doodlewash. Since I started last year, I’ve been painting, sketching, and blogging stories for 500 consecutive days! I didn’t really set out to do this, even considered taking breaks along the way, but then changed my mind. But, my doodlewashing addiction kept pulling me back in. And I really couldn’t have done it without all of you out there, showing up to comment, like and generally acknowledge my work as I’ve gone along. The community of artists we’ve created together is my favorite part, and continues to inspire me to keep right on painting each and every day. I thought a good way to observe this day might be to share with you some of the things I’ve learned along the way for anyone else who wants to form a daily painting habit. So I’ve shared what I’ve learned in the rest of this post.
How To Form A Daily Painting Habit
Find A Little Time Each Day – I set aside an hour a day for my painting, and when I’m super lucky, another 15-20 minutes to write a blog post. Most of the time, however, it all has to be done in just one little hour. But, even if you only have 30 minutes a day, set it aside and make something! The point is finding a little time that you can regularly commit to painting.
Protect Your Painting Time – This one is toughest. I am fierce about having my time to paint and will turn down social plans in order to make sure it happens. For example, I paint after work each day, so I strictly turn down happy hour requests and convert these to lunches instead. Painting actually is my “happy hour” so that time is precious and I protect it!
Choose A Format That Works For You – Since I’m a hobbyist and only have a little hour each day to paint and write a blog post, I usually stay inside my sketchbook. And my sketchbook is rather small. So, this allows me to make something new each and every day. If you have an urge to paint really large, just be sure you also have the urge to work on the same painting for many days in a row. I don’t have the attention span, so I keep things super small and quick! If you’re like me, then this trick works really well!
Share What You Make – Whether it’s a blog or a social media feed, sharing what you make helps create an audience with which to share your work. This helped me to establish a sort of accountability for my painting and made me post more. I chose to post every little thing I made, good and bad, but posting anything as often as you feel comfortable makes a big difference. Art loves an audience and when you find them, it makes your painting habit more meaningful.
Make “DO” Your Only Goal – I’ve always had the same motto at Doodlewash from the beginning – DO! That’s really it. Don’t worry about the outcome or demand certain results from yourself. Just keep on doing it and improvements will come over time automatically. Your personal style will eventually reveal itself. I’m actually not sure that I’ve found mine yet. It just takes time. There will be some days that feel like you’re moving backward. Ignore them. Just DO more!
Quickly writing all of this now, it seems rather simple and not particularly earth-shattering or potentially even useful. But these are the main reasons why I’ve been able to create a lasting daily painting habit. And the best part is that it brings me so much joy! Since I actually created more than one painting in my enthusiasm at the start of this journey, I’ve made well over 500 paintings so far. Sure, there’s that awkward tree that started this whole thing as well as many little hits and misses along the way. Yet, each of these paintings is a step in my journey and so they’re equally special to me. Little lovely steps that have created a lifelong passion for painting. And that’s definitely cause for celebration!
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!