A promise to myself for 2015 was to improve my art. I need to practice. But like most people, time is my most precious commodity. I can’t make more time, but I can reassign time to include creativity.

Find the Easy Changes

By setting out work clothes the night before and simplifying my beauty routine, I gleaned 20 minutes in the morning to grab a pencil and start sketching.

Cover of art book on drawing

One of the best drawing books I’ve found in a long time is The Big Book of Realistic Drawing Secrets by Carrie Stuart Park & Rick Park

To get past morning grogginess I use the exercises in this drawing book for focus. I tell my phone to set a timer for 20 minutes and get to work. It may take me all week to finish one exercise, but my drawing has already improved in one short month.

If I draw 20 minutes in the morning, I get my cup of coffee

If I draw 20 minutes in the morning, I get my cup of coffee

I’m a morning person so drawing at the crack of dawn is prime time. If you’re a night owl, put your 20 minutes in the evening after supper or just before bed. Do what is best for you, but just do it.

At work, I get 30 minutes for lunch. I got permission to stash oil painting supplies in a back office. Again I use my phone timer to keep me honest, and instead of eating, I paint for 25 minutes (leaving 5 minutes to clean up). I drink a meal shake instead of eating a big lunch. I’ve finished two small paintings in a month, which is more than I did the whole fall semester.

Small Changes; Big Impact

Being creative sparks God-given joy in my heart that spills over into my relationships, work, and attitude about life. My skills are sharpening and I am more peaceful, content. Best of all,  I’m not even losing sleep over it.