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How many times did you feel guilty or at least frustrated that again you did something else instead of practicing drawing like you intended?
Even tough you might draw a lot or frequent in your work, that doesn’t mean you actually practice. Repeating what you already do and are capable of, keeps you indeed, just repeating the same thing. 

Structured time to practice, explore, be inspired and try out new materials and techniques is what will help you develop your skills, the variety of visuals you have in your vocabulary and also the speed in which ideas for visuals and visual metaphors come up. Lot of reasons to be conscious about some sacred time for practicing right?

The following 5 excuses keep you from developing your visual skills, but even more from exploring new ways of expressing yourself visually and more attuned to what you want others to understand.

EXCUSE 1 – I INTENDED TO, BUT I FORGOT TO DO IT

ISSUE – You don’t follow up on your decision to practice

TIP: With your good intention to practice with a certain frequency, you don’t actually do anything. A decision will take you already a step further, but that doesn’t mean you actually do what you decided. Your decision needs to be followed by an action. The first likely one is to define a strategy – the action itself – that you will take as a follow up of your action. What exactly will you do as a practice? You could for instance choose to study facial expressions for one month. Which could look like something this: 1) you find resources about facial expressions 2) you study by draw what you see 3) find the commonalities & differences in the expressions 4) create your own.

 

EXCUSE 2 – MY CALENDAR IS ALREADY FULL

ISSUE – You don’t schedule time for it

TIP: This one builds up on the previous reason. After defining a strategy you need to block time in your calendar that is specifically designated to practicing. No matter is you choose to make that a daily habit of 30 minutes or is it 30 minutes in a week. The first counts up to a little over 180 hours, the later means 26. That means you might weigh how fast you want to develop your skills and grow.

 

EXCUSE 3 – SO MANY OTHER TASKS ARE MORE IMPORTANT 

ISSUE – You consistently prioritize urgent matters

TIP: what is the first reason why you don’t use that blocked time for practicing? It’s that you prioritize urgent matters at the expense of your own practice time. I think the immediate result might be satisfying because perhaps you helped a client and feel content because you are reliable to them. I question if that is really true. Are you really reliable when you aren’t reliable to yourself? Prioritizing urgent matters over an agreement with yourself in the end means you loose self-trust because you can not count on yourself. Make an agreement with yourself just as important as agreements with others leads to fulfilling needs of both. How that works in practice? Re-schedule either one of the matters. Don’t drop it, move it to another moment in your calendar and you will be much more content that your needs get attended to as well.

 

EXCUSE 4 – MY FAMILY MEMBERS KEEP INTERRUPTING ME

ISSUE – You don’t have clear agreements or a personal space to practice

TIP: Sharing a home with others who each have their flow activities and where spaces are used by everyone takes a bit of creativity to create a moment for yourself to practice with focus. If you haven’t got a room that is just yours and yours to retreat in, I suggest you choose moments in which others are not using a common space. For instance, before others wake up or are away from home. If you do practice while others are at home you still have two options. Communicate with them. Let them know why you practice your drawing and ask them if they are willing support you advance your drawing skills better. I support you don’t interrupt your kids during their homework. Now they have a chance to reverse that habit and model consideration and understanding. Secondly you could invite them to join. It won’t save you from interruption, but being on the same wavelength at least feels a lot easier and actually may even stimulate your creativity and motivation.

 

EXCUSE 5 – I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DRAW

ISSUE – You don’t have a clear purpose for your practice

TIP: This reason is not so obvious at first but I think that you can relate to the experience of having sat down to practice drawing but spend your half hour mostly thinking of what to draw, how to approach it and judging yourself for making use of your time? The next time your practice time popped up in your calendar, the memory of this experience returned and you conclude that you can spend your time in better ways? The trick here is to decide for which purpose you want to practice. If for instance you always struggle with drawing animals, then focus only on animals for the next period. Implement a couple of practical strategies as described in point 1 and 2 and you will soon see results.

MAIN INSIGHTS

To make sure you have time to practice, you need to…

INSIGHT 1 ⚡️ Be confronted with your decision: Schedule time in your calendar so you don’t oversee it.

INSIGHT 2 ⚡️ Value agreements with yourself as much as those with others by anticipating on changes

INSIGHT 3 ⚡️ A personal space helps to stay focused

INSIGHT 4 ⚡️ Ask others to help you accelerate by leaving you practice in peace

INSIGHT 5 ⚡️ Always connect your practice to a purpose which increases your motivation and direction for defining a strategy. 

My name is MIREILLE VAN BREMEN

I believe that with empathy, clarity and transparency in our communication, we experience and reach more understanding, connection, inclusion, participation, leadership, creativity and trust in our relationships, communities and society.

My clients hire me to design infographics & visual summaries, illustrations and visual tools.

My participants join the online and live communication programs in my Online Training Platform

My programs help to increase impact by communicating both empathically and visually. 

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