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Mar 9, 2020

What type of magic happens in the artist’s studio? Is there some special formula that “Successful” artists use that helps them maximize their creativity and studio time? 

I wanted to take this opportunity to explore this critical topic with the vast spectrum of artists we have represented in the Savvy Painter community. From all over the country and the world, artists like you have shared their struggles, successes, and helpful tips when it comes to making the most of their time at the canvas. 

Make sure you have a pen and paper close by, you don’t want to miss a minute of this powerful exploration of the artist’s studio! 

Recognizing when resistance shows up

Let’s face it, at some point in your career, you’ll face resistance. I focused a whole episode dedicated to this important topic: How to Beat Resistance (Advice for Painters)

“If you’ve read Steven Pressfield’s book, the War of Art, you’re familiar with Resistance. Even if you have not read his book, I’ll wager you are familiar with Resistance, you just didn’t know it had a name, a proper name with a capital “R.” It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s a sneaky little bastard who’s not always easy to spot.

Pressfield uses a lot of war analogies in his descriptions of Resistance, and he’s right to do so because it’s serious business. Resistance is at war with you, it can destroy you. Resistance wants to take you out, so I do see Resistance as an enemy. If I let him have his way, I’d stop showing up for you. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere – I want to help artists like you find your way to beat Resistance and do the work that matters most to you!”

After that episode, I heard from a ton of artists like you who were eager to share similar challenges and helpful strategies they’ve deployed to help them beat Resistance in their lives. As I stressed on that episode, the first step to beating Resistance is recognizing how it shows up - and for many of you, Resistance shows up before you even step into the studio. From surges of anxiety to even building a physical wall of objects that prevent you from getting your studio, we all face Resistance differently. 

The one thing that will help you combat Resistance in your personal and professional life is by setting an intention, it doesn’t have to be big but it does have to move you in the right direction. What have you found work for you as you combat Resistance in your career? 

The artist’s studio, sanctuary or soul-crushing? 

When you think of your studio, do you consider it a sanctuary or somewhere that is fraught with pain and anxiety? To say it another way, do you have a healthy relationship with your studio right now or is it a bit more complicated? 

Cody, an artist from Indianapolis, described his studio space as a “Refuge where stressful things can sometimes happen.” This description speaks to the struggle of facing deadlines or starting shakily on a new project but that it always happens in the confines of a creative space.

Remember, your space is your own. There is no “right way” to set up your studio - if it works for you and spurs your creativity then go with it! 

My challenge to you 

If you find yourself struggling to create the artist’s studio you’ve always dreamed about, here are some helpful tips from me and other fellow artists. 

I challenge you to re-frame your thoughts when you think about your studio. Don’t let your thoughts automatically go to the stressful or frustrating aspects of your task at hand, instead think of what you get to do in your creative space. 

A helpful practice I’ve picked up over the years is to center myself as I cross the threshold into my studio. When I cross that physical threshold into my studio, I take a deep breath and say “This is for me, I am here and I have something to say.” 

If you don’t have a ritual that works for you to center yourself and start your studio time with intention, why not give mine a try, what do you have to lose? 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:40] I introduce the topic of this week’s episode. 
  • [4:00] Artists like you who struggle and cope with resistance. 
  • [14:45] How do you view your studio? Is it a sanctuary? 
  • [28:00] Vicki Sulivan and other artists talk about their relationship with their studio. 
  • [34:00] A helpful practice you can try as you enter your studio. 
  • [36:30] Studio tips from artists like you. 
  • [43:30] Closing thoughts. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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