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Jul 05, 2017
Feeding Your Art

Digitally Colored Pen and Ink Illustration, 2010

It's important to dedicate time to perfecting your craft-- 10,000 hours to be precise, if you're into numbers and precision. However, it's important to leave time and space for other endeavors that may be more important to the development of your craft than you realize. Natalie Goldberg writes about feeding your creative practices in her book, Writing Down the Bones.  

The idea is that other endeavors inspire you and give you energy, so don't make the mistake of excluding them from your life in an effort to focus all your energy on your craft. You have to be able to step away from a project to achieve perspective and allow time to reach novel conclusions. 

Todd Henry, in his podcast the Accidental Creative, discusses the Kafka effect with Nick Tasler. The principle behind the Kafka effect is similar, in that you need to allow your brain time and space to be creative and generate new ideas.

I love to read fiction. In particular, I love Neil Gaiman. His books stimulate my imagination and get me thinking about things in new ways. Reading fiction feeds my photography, so I make time for it. I also love illustration and find I need this time to work more tactilely, lest I find myself not working at all. 

So take stock of the activities you enjoy that may be feeding your art. And then make time for them.