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How to make time for your art habit

Posted by Koosje Koene in sketchbook on April 18, 2021

Do you ever feel like you are out of breath at the end of the day?

Life is pretty crazy, and it’s hard to not let it get in the way of the things that are important to you.

Still, let’s not make it an excuse!

We can hope for a time when life is totally ready for us to do what we love, but I’m sorry to disappoint you: that time isn’t going to come. Ever.
The only way to make time for your art habit, is by prioritizing it. And nobody else is going to do it for you, but yourself. 

Here’s a few things that make a huge difference for me:

 

-Stop trying to catch up with everything that’s happening on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and what have you.

You can’t keep up anyway, and you’re not missing anything really.

Instead, put your smartphone down, and pick up a pen.
I can only spend a limited time on social media as my phone will tell me “your time is up!”.
Did you know you can set your phone to limit your time for each social media platform? Once I discovered that and tried it, it gave me a very good insight into how much time I was wasting just scrolling, especially on Instagram – and how addicted I was to it.
Now I enjoy my Instagram time a lot more, because I know it’s limited, so I use it more mindfully, to engage with people and find inspiration instead of using it as a dull and lazy kind of entertainment. Some days I don’t even spend my maximum amount of time anymore. I was trained by my phone and recalibrated my habits!

-Have a sketchbook close by – always.


You will be amazed how many moments in the day you are just waiting; that time is great for a quick gesture drawing of one of your family members or a pet for example. Or draw the ingredients for dinner right before you start cooking them. 

-Stop watching TV. Again, you’re not missing anything.

Instead of mindlessly putting on the TV, plan a ‘couch movie night’ every now and then, to watch one or two episodes of a favorite show, or a movie you really feel is worth watching. You will save a LOT of time. Use that time to make art, read a book, learn something new. 

-Here’s the most important one: When you feel the itch and act on it.

Meaning: as soon as you think: “I feel like drawing”; do it! Other things can wait. When you’re hungry, you eat. When you need to draw, you draw. Sure, there are important things on your to-do-list, but take a mini drawing break, doodle a little, play with your art supplies, draw what’s in front of you, or something from imagination. Allow yourself to have your moment for drawing, and before you know it you feel that sense of flow, maybe it even feels like a meditation. it sure does to me. Even if it’s just 10 minutes. It will clear your mind, and you will see that when you get back to “all the important stuff” on your list, you’ll be more focused and feel a lot better and happier. 

Doing what you love is important to stay sane! Let’s draw!

Koosje Koene

Hi I'm Koosje. I'm an illustrator and art teacher in Amsterdam, where I was born and raised. I went to school to study graphic design, then worked for ten years as an award-winning professional photographer. But eventually my love of drawing and painting took over and I became an illustrator. My illustrations have been published in many Dutch magazines and in 2011, I began blogging and started developing and teaching online art classes. In 2014 I founded Sketchbook Skool, which is a flourishing community of artists from around the world of all skill levels.