I wrote this after reading a lot of Twitter posts with amazing artists blush and admit they spend a lot of time procrastinating. This is my response to those hard-working blushers:
It’s always exciting to wake up and feel ready to start working isn’t it? It feels like the Universe is giving you a thumbs up as you bounce out of bed and head to your work place. Then you hit a wall. Maybe you woke up to the wall. Maybe your imagined image isn’t matching your real work. Maybe you are stuck on how to solve an issue with your work. These moments can feel like the Universe is holding up an entirely different digit at you.
Often I hear the tales of woe from other artists, and the admissions of procrastination. Most of the time, the procrastination is actually quite productive and a part of the creative process. For example, you ever find yourself cleaning instead of working? Or exercising, going to the grocery store or baking bread? Or just drawing endless little doodles while you look at your blank canvas out of the corner of your eye? This type of procrastination is productive, and can be helpful. It gives your subconscious time to work on the creative problem while making room in your brain by putting away all those responsibilities. Plus, the spontaneous nature of cleaning the kitchen instead of drawing makes it feel like I’m getting away with something, and there’s nothing like feeling like you’re cheating to inspire creative thinking (rubbing hands together in classic villain pose).
Maybe the idea of being a Pirate and sneaking in other tasks in your day doesn’t appeal to you. What about being a Task Ninja? That could work too! Or a Can-Do Emu! Whatever makes you happy. In all seriousness, productive procrastination is simply preparation. Cleaning your work space, looking up research materials, tackling that load of laundry that keeps interrupting your thoughts are all necessary for preparing yourself to get some creative work done. So next time you blush and admit you’ve spent the last hour cleaning your office and color coding your paints, remember you’re no slacker. You’re a Pirate/Ninja/Emu/Responsible person. 🙂
Well, this blog post has been my Productive Procrastination of the day! Time to get to it!
For those of you who are genuinely procrastinating and are reading this while taking a break from your fourth consecutive hour of playing Animal Crossing*. I think it’s time to address whatever you’re avoiding in your life. Best of luck .
* I love that game 🙂