I copied this quote from a Robert Glenn newsletter and thought you might benefit from it as I did. It struck a chord in me especially since I've been frustrated because I have not been painting. I haven't been able to find the time. Maybe this is why.... "I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed--you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men, and, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a man. You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin--it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am a habit!" by popular business coach John Di Lemme
When I get new students I know I can not count on them until they make a "habit" of coming to class. If they make class a priority they generally stay, if not, they drift away. I see that and I know that.
For the last three years or so it's been easy for me because I love what I do. Loving what you do can certainly be an incentive. I'd be in my studio at 9am and many times I would not leave until 9pm. Not that I was doing art for 12 hours, please don't think that, but it was always something art related. Now I seem to be doing stuff that's art related but not the art. It's interference...I'm letting unimportant things interfere with my time...well some of them are important, like taxes.
Part of the reason it worked for me was because I always knew what I was going to do next. In fact I usually had the next piece started before I finished with the one I was working on...so I never stopped. I had momentum built. I was focused and ready before I ever walked through my studio door. But now it seems like there's always something other than art that has to be done which keeps me from getting back in the habit. I'm not complaining, at least I hope I'm not complaining. I have a great place to work, the light is great, I'm happy, healthy and comfortable...it's just...gettin back in the habit and doing the things that have worked for me in the past. Why does that seem so difficult? I ask the question but I know the answer. Hummmmmm, habit. I'm in the habit of doing other things.
Anyway, I'm determined to get back in the habit of doing art. I do think determination is a huge part of it. Once I made the decision to become a professional artist I never lacked in determination. I guess that means it takes a decision, determination and commitment then the habit develops. Sounds good to me! So I'll be back on track soon. There's just a few other things however that I...."have" to do....hahahahahaha
Esoterica: John Di Lemme was a 24-year-old stutterer working in his family art gallery who dreamed of becoming a motivational speaker. Over a seven-year period of hardships, challenges and obstacles, John focused on his dream and ultimately built a marketing team of over 25,000 representatives in 10 countries. His idea was simple: with the right habits one could see progression to a higher state. In the words of the great art mentor and teacher Robert Henri, "If a certain activity, such as painting, becomes the habitual mode of expression, it may follow that taking up the painting materials and beginning work with them will act suggestively and so presently evoke a flight into the higher state."