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As Corita Kent says, the only real rule for an artist is work. How I felt about art-making each week had a lot to do with whether I was doing it at all. High-scoring weeks (in the dark purple) tend to be those where I drew a lot, taking my notebook with me wherever I was going. Truthfully, I give myself a lot of credit for doing very little. Three posts on Instagram? A stellar week. Planning about doing art on a bunch of sticky notes I end up throwing out? Still counts. 


Low scoring weeks in hot orange were those where I simply didn’t or couldn’t squeeze out anything creative. These were the weeks when even the lowest level of millennial participation trophy energy couldn't convince me I had accomplished anything.


The first week of February was the peak week for making stuff. I was obsessively sketching at my new job, surfing my standing desk and scribbling thoughts and doodles into my personal notebooks in between zoom calls. By contrast, the first week of May was the absolute dregs. Work was getting harder. My brain and willpower felt like burnt toast by the middle of the day.   In notes to myself that week, I wrote: “no, did not do art--and you know that’s a problem!”



You Can't Make Me

The more pressure I have on me to do something, the less I want to do it, and the more I will avoid it at all costs. Procrastination on all things, including creative projects, is my way of coping with this.  By contrast, when there are absolutely no expectations on me and I'm drowning in a vat of corporate boredom (stuck in a meeting, stuck on a bus, stuck at the back of a bar waiting for my food to arrive as my more social friends socialize) my inner world seems to open up more.  



The Best Pens


Like a lot of people who draw, I'm always on the quest for the best pen.  Somehow, though, I don't always manage to throw away the bad pens--the spent pens, the ones that make unsatisfying lines, the ones that explode and bleed all over every shirt I own with pockets. I keep them, and I don't know why. Mementos of a part of the year, maybe. They stay at the bottom of my bag and develop personalities of their own. 

(The reason I draw in pen, by the way, is because I'm a commitment-phobe that won't finish anything in pencil because there are too many ways I can change it. There's something nice about pen where you can't go back, and have to move forward). 



Don't Overthink It

Is it really so difficult to make stuff? Should I really give myself a hard time if I don’t? When I feel like a reality check, I remember that art is mostly me processing my experiences, and the time I spend making art is really time I could also be spending just living more experiences in a happier and less self-aware way.  


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