I rarely discuss the nuts and bolts of where my ideas come from on the blog. I do share my ideas and rugs and the courses and books I take and read. But when I hit a block I have a “Secret Weapon” I go to that helps every time. It is my Artist’s Daybook.
What is an Artist’s Daybook? I initially wrote about an Artist’s Journal here in 2012. A brief one paragraph rundown of what it is. My Artist’s Daybook is kept on my laptop where it travels with me wherever I go. I write every day. It’s not a diary so much as a record of ideas and thoughts about creativity and business, and things that affect those. Sometimes it wanders into the territory of a diary, but I try to prevent that. That is counter-productive.
The true value of the Daybook is when I go back through it with my font colours and highlight different ideas, reasons for blockages, successes, etc. I try to do this once a year.
What do I note?
- I use one colour to highlight creative ideas I want to follow through on. If I go through and put these ideas on a project mindmap or list, I can then assess them and see if they follow the direction I want to take with my career. If they do then they are entered into my system for breaking the job down into parts for action.
- I use another colour to highlight what I perceive to be blockages to my creativity/business. I need to look realistically at these to determine if they are perceived blockages or real issues that need to be dealt with. If I need to deal with them, then they become a project for breaking down and working on. If they are perceived there is a good chance I need to change my attitude and time is set aside to work on that as well.
- I use another colour for any compliments I’ve received from people and recorded. I try to record all compliments for reading on my down days, and because they sometimes give me clues to directions to follow in the future. I also highlight any criticisms and determine if I perceive there to be any validity, and if it requires any major change in direction on my part.
- I highlight any books, magazines, articles, etc. I want to read. Any courses I want to take.
- I highlight any suppliers I want to try or experiences with suppliers.
- I also highlight any decisions I have made as a result of my experiences during the year.
All these ideas help me stay focused on my work and re-energize me. They motivate me to move onward with renewed vision and hope.
So I cannot recommend enough for artists to keep a Daybook. It is tremendously helpful in planning not only future work, but your career as a whole.
I hope someone found this post useful. Have a great day everyone!