I wrote my book in 15 minutes a day. Honest! When I felt disconnected with the content, my coach advised me to “check in” with my book every day. I promised just 15 minutes a day. It worked! In a minute I'm going to show you how you can use the 15-minute trick for yourself. But first, a little background.
“How am I supposed to make art, promote it, take care of my family, exercise, and stay sane?!”
I hear this complaint—and it is a complaint—a lot. In other words, I’m being asked how to juggle all of the tasks in one’s life—or at least all of the tasks that someone WISHES they could fit in.
Here’s the fact: You can’t do it all. You will never be able to get everything done that you want to do. Get that straight and get on with things. Give up whining about not having enough time and, instead, spend your time getting stuff done.
What is most alarming to me are the artists who want to build careers but are struggling to find time to work in their studios. Here’s another fact: You cannot be a serious artist without regular studio time! You must find a way to make art on a consistent basis.
If you are one of the artists wrestling with a commitment to your studio, I have a solution: Spend just 15 minutes a day checking in with your art. This is all you need to promise yourself at this point. If you go longer, great! If it’s just 15 minutes, well, that’s okay, too.
You could spend your 15 minutes making art. This is fine if you work quickly or on a small scale, but what if you have to haul out oil paints, lots of tools, or heavy machinery? In these cases, consider spending your 15 minutes doing any of the following.
- Sketching or going through previous sketches
- Taking photographs for inspiration
- Preparing to make art (sharpening tools, priming canvases, cutting paper)
- Reading about art
- Writing about your art
- Studying and analyzing a piece of your art
- Studying someone else’s art in relation to your own
However you decide to spend your 15 minutes, I suggest that it be done IN your studio or, if that’s not possible, at least surrounded by lots of your art.
Of course you cannot build a career as a professional artist by spending only 15 minutes a day in the studio, but you can use your 15 minutes to work toward a larger goal. Or, the 15 minutes can help you move past a creative block.
The point of the 15 minutes is not to try to create a masterpiece within that short time frame. The point is to stay connected with your art every day. This connection will feed you. It will make you a happier person and a less frustrated artist.
FINAL WORD: If you’re in a slump or need to reconnect with your art, devote 15 minutes a day to the studio. It shouldn’t be the last thing you do! Studio hours should be scheduled for your peak creativity time. When you procrastinate studio time, you procrastinate your career. You’re telling yourself and everyone in your life that making art is your lowest priority.
The podcast is an audio version of this article.