Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but I do fear the man
who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. – Bruce Lee
Habits! We all have them, good or bad. As humans ‘we are creatures of habit’ therefore whether you are aware of it we all have habits that can be very much part of a daily routine or more consciously, an area we want to improve or stop doing in our life. I am trying to think of something I do daily which is seen as a good daily habit. It didn’t take me long! When I get out of bed in the morning the first thing, I do is put the kettle on for my first cup of tea and out of habit, as soon as I have finished the first one, I go back and make a second. These cups of tea go with me to check emails, turn the morning breakfast show on TV, wake kids up, let the dog outside, and usually end up going to the bathroom with me to have a shower. And unlike coffee, when black tea (with milk) goes cold its undrinkable, but my tea never gets left. And as for a bad habit, well that doesn’t take too long to think of either! When I finish a bottle of wine, I leave the bottle right in the centre of the kitchen bench! It never goes into the recycling bin, which is one more step to the right. My husband always complains that I never put the empty bottle in the bin. Hey, I don’t know I even do it and am I ever going to break that bad habit? No.
Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash
Back when I was in my 20’s and I was a Graphic Design student at university in Adelaide, South Australia, we would have life drawing class every week. There would usually be a model to draw but sometimes the lecturers would set up a still life instead. We would use stacks of different media for these sessions and work quite large. Sadly, I don’t think this subject would exist in a Graphic Design course now days. We were the first decade of students to start using Apple Macintosh computers and even that was just a subject one-day week. This was mid 90’s to set the scene. Getting back to the life drawing, as creative people, we loved this subject and looked forward to it every week. It was a very creative way to let out the stresses of daily life, which looking back, in your 20’s as a uni student, there wasn’t a great deal of stress, let’s be honest! But it was a good habit, every week we would be drawing from life. Many of us would then continue this during holidays because it feeds your soul and produces healthy brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, not that you are aware of this at the time.
Then we graduated and went on our way finding our first graphic design jobs. That good weekly habit had been taken away and paying rent, working, and socialising had taken over and I for one lost my mojo of just drawing for the sake of drawing. Fast forward 10 years and I started having babies and being at home with them got me back into that good habit and I was on a roll again, painting, drawing, filling sketchbooks, buying art papers and canvases, and having a great old time. I never went back into graphic design after my boys were born, instead heading back to uni to do a Diploma of Education with the thought of teaching art in school. I was creating again every day as well as coming up with art projects for kids to do.
It can take anything from 18 days to 254 days to build a new habit
and an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic.
Fast forward another 10 years and I ended up opening Mrs Red’s art room in 2011 and held weekly Saturday morning art classes for kids on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It’s 11 years this year since I opened the art room and I am still teaching, just as an online business now and using Zoom to teach. There are some positives that came out of the global pandemic, like we all are realising we can learn online and do education from home. However, 11 years of teaching adults and kids’ art projects, while very fulfilling meant that I have not done a drawing or painting for myself in that time. That’s a long time to lose my favourite good habit!
You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily.
The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. – John C Maxwell
So, as we jump into 2022 and the 11th year of my art business, I have made it my goal to get back into drawing and painting for myself. Create that good habit again! And to be accountable for my actions, I am committing to 2 LIVES on YouTube every week!
The first will be me drawing or painting within the timeframe of 60-90 minutes. I am going to start slowly, given I haven’t really just sat and drawn for the good part of 25 years. The old saying of getting back into the saddle is very true and although I know I can draw and confident in producing something that is worthy, it’s just the fact that between my early 20’s and my late 40’s there is a whole lot of cobwebs on those drawing pencils! This LIVE will take place each Thursday night at 7.30pm Brisbane, Queensland, Australia time zone.
The second LIVE will be Friday afternoons at 4.30pm (same time zone) and this will be a kids art project. I am imagining 30-60 minutes for these classes and projects will be aimed at school aged kids around 5-12 years of age. These projects will be great for primary and elementary teachers to use in the classroom, for home schooling parents and just anyone in general that wants to do some fun colourful artworks with the kids.
To make sure you don’t miss out, subscribe to Mrs Red's website (scroll to bottom of this page) so you can be included in the email that goes out twice a week, giving you the image for the Thursday night so you can draw along with Mrs Red and every Saturday, you will receive the links to the kid’s art project filmed on the Friday afternoon.
With any goal or resolution, having an accountability partner is important because if you let yourself down, you are letting others down as well. Feels a bit weird knowing that I must create this goal just to sit down and draw for myself but as a small business owner, you plunge yourself into your work and don’t think about your downtime. And when your passion is also your career, it makes it hard to separate the two.
I look forward to connecting with you over socials, showing me your results to either of the weekly LIVES and hoping that you begin to form a good habit once again, whatever it may be.