Those who stand at the threshold of life always waiting for the right time to change are like the man who stands at the bank of a river waiting for the water to pass so he can cross on dry land.
Joseph B. Wirthlin
When is the right time to start something new, like say, a new habit? To start being “more creative” for example? More meaning “more than nothing” or more than last year? More can mean a lot of things…
Is there a “best time” to get started? And why is that time always either in the past or in the future somewhere undefined far away in the distance? I’m just wondering, why is change so hard? Does anyone know? I don’t.
I stumble forward in this new year, and I have no good plan for what to do, although I have one suggestion…
You could start today.
One thing that I do know is that it is much, much better to take small steps daily than aiming to start “some day in the future”. I bet you’ve done that kind of procrastinating too sometime?
I do it all the time. Procrastinate not only what’s hard, but things that give me joy. Because I fear failing. I fear starting. I fear stumbling and falling on my head…
With my collage project last year I could almost visibly see how my collage muscles grew, and every day I sat down to make a few more collage I felt more secure and calmer when creating them. It’s something I was one hundred percent committed to doing, so I stayed on course. It was such a good experience! It was my third year long art project, still I hesitated a lot before starting one again.
It’s the same with any kind of art. The more you do it the easier it gets. And to me, the thing I always want to keep up is creating inside some kind of journal. It’s a small but big practice.
Art Journaling is about creating
I call mine Art Journals or Visual journals, because that’s how I got started. You might call yours what ever you want. Maybe you prefer the right now popular term “Junk Journal”? Although most junk journals† I’ve seen are made from mostly expensive, new materials…
Or altered book, brain dump, art book, sketchbook, diary, journal, notebook, scrap book, commonplace book, glue book, collage pages or… what ever you like most. But use it. Often.
This year I feel calmer about “starting” at the right time. I’ve started a few new things, and I’ll announce them in upcoming days, but I don’t feel I need to rush anything.
Yes, it’s not January 1st anymore, but it’s totally okay to start your new year, project, life, or habit, this Monday, next Monday, or in a few weeks when you’re ready to start. Just don’t wait to long, okay? Don’t use the excuse that you missed the first of the year to start a 365 something, anything, okay? It’s not to late for that, ever.
Yeah, why not? I bet you’ve got a notebook that could work as your art journal somewhere, hidden in a pile of papers or in the bottom of a drawer? I love using old books, and just paint over the text in them.
A simple composition notebook or paper pad works too. My first Art Journal was a spiral bound notebook I found at the book store. It was anything but fancy, but I started on the first page as soon as I came home with it, and worked diligently in it until all the pages was full.
In the end I loved when it was jam packed and filled to the brim with paint, collage bits, words, scribbles, swatches, trials and experiments.
One year I named that year The Year of Art Journaling, but actually, I think every year should be about creativity – and every year should be (to some degree) about Art and Journaling. It is so much about self discovery, reflection, time away from a screen, time to explore and play (something we†as grown ups don’t do enough of in everyday life ) and “just be”.
Time to look inwards. Time to paint. Time to put the cell phone down and commit to your creative practice, what ever that is. Time to grow.
Time to rethink the status quo of life?
What will you take time for this week/month/year? What will you be committed to? What makes your heart sing?
For me Art Journaling is one thing that makes me happy, and I’m looking forward to work in old and new journals this year.