The Art of Starting: step 2 of 3 – Start small

Updated: Aug 27, 2018

shape and shade
Pencil on paper studies by Brave Scribbler

If you hadn’t worked out in years, you wouldn’t expect to smash a ninja warrior challenge, first try... maybe not even after 1,000 attempts.

Yet, from the core of our being, we want to write that epic novel that will reshape the world... first try; or create something so miraculous the Earth will stop spinning just long enough so everyone can have a look... first try. Yes, I’m mocking! But it’s our secret wish. We heap on so much pressure that at times we can’t start at all.

To hell with that attitude!

Go cheap. Fancy, high-tech wear don’t make you a superior athlete; just like expensive art supplies don’t make you a better artist. True artists can create masterpieces from crap. Aaron Blabey created a bestseller on toilet paper. So, who are we to turn up our noses?

Invest in student grade materials. Use the unused sections in old scrapbooks.

Baby steps. Maybe the ninja warrior challenge is too daunting, but a brisk walk around the block shouldn’t be too much to ask.

I started with mindful colouring books. I didn’t have to confront the blank page; it was already pretty. I just coloured it in. It was FUN! I was happy and I mostly stayed within the lines.

The basics. Soon, I was having so much fun, I forgot to be scared. I drew simple shapes, and worked on shading. Then I tried more complex shapes and experimented with colour. I painted on canvases. I drew from life. I could not stop. And I vowed I never would again.

Some stuff to try:

  • Zentangle

  • Origami

  • Collage

  • Stream of consciousness writing

  • Make lists of rhyming words

  • Drawing in the sand

Find the smallest, simplest thing along your creative path and start there. If you find yourself being critical, go back to Step 1.

See you next week for the final step.

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