Tuesday, July 10, 2018

8 Morning Routines That Have Helped Me Become A More Effective Artist.

A couple of weeks ago, Lauren, one of my art students, told me that she was reading a book called “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” by Mason Currey. The book profiles briefly 161 artists (novelists, painters, poets, philosophers, filmmakers, and scientists) and focuses on how they made time each day to do their work. Fascinating! I got myself a copy.

As I made it through the book, I began to think about my routines and what works for me and put together my list.  Here it is:

What are the eight-morning routines that have helped me become a more effective artist?

1) Waking Up Early Before Sunrise

I love waking up early when the sky is still dark full of stars, and the moon is still dancing around. It is a very quiet time of the day, and there are no distractions. Waking up early gives me the time to exercise, meditate, clean and plan before I start working.

2) Exercise

When I exercise early morning, the routine of exercise refreshes my mind and releases stress. By the time I am finishing exercising, I feel a sense of accomplishment and ready to focus on any task.

3) Meditation

It gives me the ability to view things differently and helps me concentrate during the day. I try to do a meditation that focuses on gratitude.

4) Thinking Time

Going for a peaceful walk with my dog, as I listen to the sounds of nature and look at the beauty of nature is part of my thinking time. My thinking time is a special moment of the day. It is the moment with my best friend, my dog, who has been my loyal companion for the last 20+ years. My thinking time is time for appreciation and thinking.  It is time for processing and bouncing ideas in my head. Some of my best writing and artwork ideas have come from these moments.

5) Cleaning Time

After feeding my pets, it is cleaning time. 45 minutes of organizing and cleaning. A clean home and clean workplace help my brain focus on the task of the day. When things are disorganized, and the house isn't clean, I cannot manage to focus on my artwork or any particular job.

6) Setting Goals For The Day

Write a set of goals for the day on a piece of paper. After organizing, I sit down to write what I want to accomplish that day. I always write a big list, but I know that I will only get to the first three on the list. The other will be rewritten every day until they are accomplishing.

7) Work on my artwork daily

Art is like a sport. If you want to become better, what do you need to do? Practice. Practice. Practice. Well, art is the same. You must work on it every day. If you don't have much time during the day, what should you do? Even if you work every day on your art for 15 to 30 minutes, you will see results.

8) Learn something every day

I like to learn something new every day. I read, listen to a podcast or audiobook, or watch YouTube videos. I like to be efficient with my time, so I either do it while I am exercising at the gym or when I am painting or drawing.

These are my daily routines. They have helped me enormously in getting into my artist zone and connecting with my creative soul.  Every time I skip my routines, even part of it, I feel like I cannot work as well and I am not as productive. It has taken some time to figure out what worked for me. But once I found the formula, it has made an enormous difference in my creative process.

Maybe this inspired you, or perhaps you want to share your routines with me. Go ahead and share in the comments below.

Vanessa Montenegro

For more information about my art and my classes, visit vanessamontenegro.com
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©2017 Vanessa Montenegro

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