It’s a worrying trend. I’m noticing that artists and creative people aren’t rebellious enough.
We keep thinking there’s a right way of doing things. That’s why so many of us are getting stuck.
I’m betting you’ve read those blog posts and how to books that say you ‘should’:
- get up early to do your creative work before anything else (Instead of doing it in the evening when you really enjoy it.)
- treat your creative work like a ‘9–5’. (Put on a suit and commute, anyone?)
- work for 7 hours a day in the studio or you can’t call yourself an artist. (So you’ve got a PA to go out and buy your paint and do your marketing, right?)
But as long as you’re listening to what everyone else says your art life should look like, you’re not listening to your own inner voice.
And you know what? You can’t make art without listening to your inner voice
Not paying attention to your inner voice makes it impossible to know what you want to create. Or to create in a way that is uniquely yours.
What’s more, not listening to your inner voice makes you a prime candidate for creative block. Because you know who will show up if you don’t check in with your inner voice, don’t you?
The Inner Critic.
And you can bet he’ll be spouting that list of ‘shoulds’ when he shows.
How to be a More Rebellious Artist
So I want to tell you the same thing that I tell my coaching clients when they ask what’s the best time of the day for them to do their practice.
Or how long they should spend in their studio every day.
Or — heavens! — whether they should start making large oil paintings instead of those tiny pencil sketches they love, because that’s what ‘real artists’ do
My answer is always the same: There are NO rules. What do YOU want to do?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that painting at dawn isn’t a great idea. Or that being serious about your business isn’t important. Or that it spending more hours on your art won’t move you ahead quicker.
But please listen to your inner voice about what’s viable for you now; what will work with your timetable, your skillset, your personal ambitions.
The sooner you throw out the ‘shoulds’, the sooner you can begin to shape your art and your creative life into what you really want it to be.
Begin this week by writing to this journal prompt:
- How did I break the rules in my creative work this week?
- How will I break them next week?