Practice over Perfection

What can you create in 10 minutes? What creative things can you play with for 10 minutes?
While most people think that adding creativity requires you to spend hours on a task, there is so much that you can accomplish in a short amount of time. I shouldn't say accomplish, there is so much you can discover.
Carve out Creative Time
My journey to becoming an artist didn't begin in art school or doodling in my math classes. I was definitely exposed to the Arts but I wasn't consciously drawn to painting early in my life.
When I did begin to play, it was just before I turned 40 and it was Calligraphy. I had always wanted to learn so I decided to give it a try. I signed up for an online course and bought all the tools and got to work.
The mantra that popped up during that first month was "Practice not Perfection." I spent 10 minutes or so practicing every day and after 30 days there was improvement. I did not become a calligraphist at the end of this story, but I did take with me the power for doing something repeatedly, in small bits, without trying to accomplish anything but improvement. Practice. Then practice some more. And then practice.
This is how I have tried to develop my work. If I find some technique that intrigues me, I practice it, I focus on it, I play with it, for as long as it intrigues me and then I move on.
I think that is one of the best things about being an Artist, I have given myself permission to be creative in any way that I want for as long as it interests me. I know that each of those techniques, mediums, and styles of work that I play with will add to my work in some way but more importantly I really enjoy the practice. It lightens the heaviness of creating or the pressure of "what I should be doing."
Abstract Art by Margaret Lipsey
So often in life we can see the place we want to end up but we can't always see the next step. This is especially true with creativity. The important thing is that you keep following that little obsession until you learn from it, grow from it, or it quiets down, or something else takes it's place. Creativity isn't about the destination. So there is no perfection only practice.
Abstract Art by Margaret Lipsey
So how do you start?
1. Find a class about something that you have been curious about. Check out Youtube, Skillshare, Creative Live, or a program in your area.
2. Start by allotting a few minutes a day to learn a bit more or practice what you have learned in your class.
3. Find a way to share it with friends. I asked friends for quotes and wrote them in calligraphy just to practice.
4. Keep going - if it feels good just keep going. Add a little more time to some of your days so you can dive a bit deeper.
5. If it isn't what you wanted it to be or it starts to stress you out, MOVE ON! This is supposed to be fun not another thing to cause you stress.
6. What else have you been curious about? Learn about that next!
I'd love to hear how you began your creative journey or what you will be exploring this year. It doesn't have to turn into something important or a career change, it can just be something fun. There is no better time than the present to learn something new!

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