I know it probably sounds quite melodramatic when I say that doing Art Every Day Month in November 2007 changed my life, but hey I really believe it did!
By giving myself permission to create every day, the concept for the Right-Brain Business Plan® intuitively came to me at my kitchen table. Since that fateful day the RBBP has helped me grow my business in exciting ways and has helped tens of thousands of creative entrepreneurs around the world launch and grow their businesses (which totally blows my mind).
While I’d like to create every day, I must admit that I don’t always make the time to do so. Although I have been painting in my studio at least once a week and that’s been a lifesaver for me. When November rolls around, though, I love knowing that I’ve got the structure and community of AEDM to help me create my daily doodles.
Here are some of my creative life and creative business learnings from doing AEDM for the past several years:
- Start small. While I absolutely looove working big when I’m doing intuitive painting, there’s something about the structure of my small 3″x3″ daily doodles that feels completely doable. I started doing these itty bitty sketches in 2009 because I wanted a low-pressure way to participate while I was writing my first book. When I’m sitting down to work on an “important” project in front of the computer or on a blank page, I can get intimated or stuck. But with the contained space of my tiny journal I know that I can just get something done pretty quickly. When you’re moving toward your big visions, start with small steps and enjoy those quick wins.
- Provide parameters. The first couple of times I did AEDM I played with different mediums each day. While the variety was great and it eventually sparked my first RBBP, after awhile it started to become challenging for me to think of the next cool supply or format to try. When I decided to just focus on my small daily doodles, I felt relief because I had one less thing to worry about. Surprisingly, limits and guidelines can actually stimulate creative freedom.
- Create consistency. In my last newsletter I shared some tips around enhancing your masculine energy through discipline and follow-through. A daily challenge like AEDM encourages me to practice having consistency and helps me form a nice, productive habit.
- Capture ideas early, even if they’re not fully formed. When I wait until end of day to do my doodle, I struggle to come up with what to create. But if I start doodling earlier in the day when ideas come to me (even if it’s not intended for the final product) my mind and muse begin to subconsciously sculpt the idea. Then when I do sit down to do the work, I’m able to tap into more ease and inspiration and the doodle flows. I apply that take-away to my business business by jotting down my half-baked thoughts and doodling ideas for future projects. They’re fodder for when I’m ready to develop and implement the next exciting thing.
- Find the stories and anecdotes. Throughout the day I’m constantly looking for a story or message to inspire my doodle. Sometimes they’re mundane things but often times I discover hidden meaning for myself that helps me explore an emotion or a life lesson. Plus, sharing the stories helps to increase connection, since people can often times relate to my foibles or the funny everyday situations I find myself in.
- Think visually. I challenge myself to tell the story in pictures not just words. Doing this daily helps me to strengthen my visual thinking muscle. And that muscle sure comes in handy while running a creative business. For example, when I’m trying to articulate a new idea or strategy often times metaphors and diagrams help me wrap my head around new concepts or plans.
Whether you participate in AEDM or not, I encourage you to dedicate some time on a semi-regular basis to explore your creativity. You never know when your next great idea will emerge. I’ll be sharing my daily doodles on Instagram using the hashtags #aedm2015 and #jennleeittybittysketch. Hope you’ll join in the fun!