Sometimes it can be difficult to stay the course with goals in general or find the motivation to slog through. As artists, we rarely get instant gratification. The type of work we’re doing requires hours of study, revisions, and good chunk of time watching paint dry. How on earth do we pull through?
For us the number one thing is a famous verse from the Bible
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen
The entire chapter goes on to provide illustrations of instances in which biblical figures took massive action because all they had to go on was the belief that their actions and faith would do something down the line. We personally make concerted daily efforts on our art because we believe that our hard work and diligence will pay off. Yes we plan systems to set ourselves up for success, we don’t have everything exactly figured out. We do have everything that we need to succeed, and what we don’t know can be learned or outsourced. We chose to believe that if anyone has been successful at something there’s nothing stopping us except the limits we place on ourselves!
TAKE IT SERIOUSLY
We don’t treat our work like a side hustle. Maybe compared to our family, spiritual or physical health our art takes one for the team…but we’ve already spent enough time and effort on this to just not do it. We took our art seriously before anyone around us did. We could haul off and become accountants and our friends and family would be fine with that. They believe in us and support us because we show through daily action that it is important to us. To anyone struggling to get people to support them, don’t cry and complain. You can show people better than you can tell them.
DONT HIDE CRAPPY WORK
Jauntycats don’t hide old work. We bare the cringe to ourselves frequently so that we can see it. Not only do we allow our past failures to make us better, we see what we do right and keep doing those things. We are not children who coddle ourselves or each other, we put our feet to the fire so every piece becomes the new “best thing ever.”
DEVELOP A ROUTINE
The problem with relying on willpower alone is that sometimes you don’t feel like being productive. That, added with the fact that you don’t see results of your work right away, can make the urge to quit unbeatable. We structure our lives in a way that encourages productivity even when we don’t feel like working. We don’t play games on our phones. We don’t watch daytime television at all *ahem Gunsmoke* We set bedtimes for ourselves. We meal prep so we don’t cook every single day (or waste money on fast food). We don’t live together anymore but are in the habit of calling each other to check in. The major part of the reason Jauntycat Graphics exists is so that we support each other.
We don’t wait for inspiration, we approach things in a logical way to make sure that we get something productive done most of the time. If systems break and negatively impact the day, improve the system. i.e. I stopped waking up on time because I hit the snooze button every morning for 2 months straight, causing me to wake up 3 hours late DAILY. I couldn’t get all of my chores done so I was stressed, the dog had to hold it, hubby missed breakfast, I didn’t start working until 1pm! My solution was to put the phone across the room at night so I have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm. Issue resolved.
DO DIFFERENT TASKS
We don’t always work on just one project until it’s finished. It helps to have a couple stacked up and be on different stages in all of them. I may be working on a drawing and glazing something at the same time. Taisa may be working on thumbnails for the next piece in the morning then go into a detailed ink drawing in the afternoon. We set up daily, weekly and monthly task lists so that we know generally how the day is going to go.
AVOID NEGATIVE PEOPLE
This is very important seeing as how this may include people whose relationship you value. We aren’t saying to totally kick these people to the curb but set boundaries for your own sanity. Maybe you just don’t talk about your goals around that person or only spend certain amounts of time with them. If you are around that person and they’re negative, be stubbornly positive…turn everything they say into something not so bad. Just because they have that view doesn’t mean you have to buy into it. If they get mad at you turning everything into a positive stand your ground. They are entitled to their opinion, you’re entitled to yours. If they insist on arguing with you about your goals, tell them assertively something along the lines of (this may be different depending on the relationship or their specific complaint) “I understand that you have that view but I’ve looked into this, this is what I’m choosing to do.” Flat tone, don’t yell or scream, no whining, don’t attempt to appease…no upward inflection in your voice as that suggests that you’re asking. This is your life, you’re not asking…you’re telling. Practice beforehand if you know you’re going into a hostile situation. Once you TELL the naysayer that you will stick to your guns do everything you can to be successful! Just don’t go back and demand they pay your way.
If it’s media that you’re consuming that is negative, turn it off. There are 2 reasons either of us watches the news…to see what the weather is or if there’s a serial killer loose in our area. We curate everything else very tightly. We don’t engage in things to make us feel panicked or to put us in a victim state. We surround ourselves with solution oriented material or at least do what we can to mitigate negativity. We no longer force ourselves to ‘tough things out’ just to prove we are ‘real’ grown ups. Life is too short for that.
We hope that this post could be of encouragement. Like and share if you think someone could use tips on how to remain on this straight and narrow path to be awesome!