Monday, August 12, 2013

Challenge #18: Just Do It

Last week, we pondered the question, "Is an artist still an artist if they're not creating?" While I don't pretend to have the answer to that, I do have an answer to the general feeling of malaise and confusion about life that may result from a failure to make art -- and it's GENIUS! Are you ready??

Just. Do. It.

Sorry Nike, I know that's kinda your catch phrase and all, but really, it applies to so much more than athletic footwear.

Sometimes (okay, all the time), I don't feel like taking the dogs for a walk in the morning. But I do it anyway -- sleepy, grumpy, and generally zombified though I may be -- and by the time we get done with our walk, I'll have woken up, the dogs will have used up some of their crazy energy, and I'll get to come home feeling productive. Not to mention that getting up out of the computer chair every now and then is actually good for me. But when that alarm clock starts screaming at way-the-F-too-early o' clock, the only thing that keeps me from smashing the snooze button with the vengeance of a thousand She-Hulks is one simple phrase: just do it.

Art creation can happen under similar circumstances. It certainly did in college, at least for me -- the teacher would give an assignment, and I would work on it. Usually leaving most of the work until the last minute, but still, I would work on it. Whether I felt relaxed and inspired, or if I felt stressed and exhausted, I still did it, because at the end of that project was a grade, and that grade could decide the future of my degree.

"Real life," as many of us post-college noobs have taken to calling it, comes with the same demands -- it can just be a bit harder to understand how our actions will affect our future. Being in school gives us an artificial sense of movement and accomplishment, with graduation acting as the finish line. Once you're out of school, there aren't any finish lines, or checkpoints, or advisors waiting for you to come in for a degree check. You're just existing, same as everyone else, and you have to be accountable to yourself when it comes to setting and accomplishing goals.

Therefore, dear reader, this week we're challenging you to stop waiting for a teacher or a client to put the pressure on you before you create. JUST DO IT -- take 30 minutes every day to work on art. Even if you don't finish a piece this week, you'll still be a lot closer to finishing than you were when you started. Now grab your swag, and get creating!

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