Coming to you from my end-of-the-year reflections on what actually helped me create more in 2022 than I ever have before.
1. Try New Things
It can be easy to want to get good at one thing, but thanks to ADHD, I've always got to try something new. The clearance section at art supply stores is my absolute favorite because #1. Who doesn't love a good deal? but also #2. It's a low-risk way to try new things. I'll spend a couple minutes browsing, letting my mind wander and when something sparks that I want to try, I'll just go for it. I don't expect perfection (that's a whole other topic) and focus on enjoying the playfulness of trying something new and seeing what I can do with it. Often, this led me to consider new ways of using the supplies I already have, and in some cases it lead to a cross-over! Overall, I ended up creating more art this year because I enthusiastically tried new things.
Tips for trying: The internet can be your best buddy at a time like this. Try searching "5 ways to use XYZ" and see what you come up with, there may be ways to use the materials you have that you'd never thought of before!
2. Celebrate Making Art, "I MADE THIS!"
This one is easier said than done, especially for those of us that have highly operational inner-critics, but I'll share what worked for me: I changed my criteria from "good" to "made". The point was to make more art, so whenever possible, I gave myself a pat on the back for starting, working on and eventually, finishing artwork. By celebrating "I MADE THIS!" and letting the "goodness" conversation go, I built momentum and ended up creating a lot of art (think hundreds of pieces) without any fatigue or frustration. If making more art is important to you, then making art is absolutely worth celebrating.
Tips for trying: If you like keeping track of things, consider keeping track of what you're working on, or how much you've started/finished. You can do this in a journal or calendar, on a sticky note on the wall, etc. Also - consider sharing the news with someone you close to you. Sending a text saying "I finished another piece!" was way more satisfying to share with my loved ones than I thought it would be and the encouragement I got back added fuel to the creative fire.
3. Creation > Confusion
I started creating whenever I experienced confusion as a way to both create more art and help me cope. Confusion is natural and personally, I tend to get most confused when I'm overwhelmed with decisions, options, etc. Somedays it was something small like "What should I eat for breakfast" and other days it was "What should I do with my life" - but regardless, I opted to take a break from thinking and pick up a creative project. Instead of sitting in confusion, creating helped me move through these moments and emerge, usually, with more clarity - and some cool artwork.
Tips for trying: If you don't have a dedicated workspace that is easily accessible during your day-to-day, keep a small project handy for moments like this. I've got tiny sketchpads in every room, so at any moment I can start sketching. If all else fails - consider doodling in your notes app, or downloading a creative app to play around with!
These strategies helped move me from a very part-time painter to an everyday creator and full-time, working artist. Have a strategy that you'd like to share? Drop it in the comments! Here's to a fulfilling, creative year :)