Connect With Your Ideas

Art is more than just pretty pictures. The best art explores ideas, and ideas need time to develop and to grow. In fact, they demand it.

Respect the process and give yourself permission to take time for your work. Schedule it—or, better yet, make it a part of your daily routine.

Each day I take an hour or so to have a conversation with my work.

I live nomadically, all over the world. When I’m in Arizona, I ride my bike; when I’m in the countryside, I ramble through forests; and when I’m in London and New York, I walk to museums.

It doesn’t matter where I go—the destination is always the same: inside myself. This space, this precious time by myself, allows me to connect with my thoughts on a deeper level. This is where I think through my ideas: making connections, solving problems, understanding bigger pictures.

This is my real work, and this is my workspace.

Just because reading books and blogs, visiting museums, and taking long solitary walks looks like more fun than other people’s jobs doesn’t mean that it’s not part of your work.

You’ve sacrificed a lot to be an artist. Don’t deny yourself this.

And it’s a revolution. A call to arms. As the world moves away from quiet contemplation, someone must lead the way back. This is what art does.

By taking this time to think—or to simply be—you can change the world.


Crista Cloutier is an artist who writes. She’s the founder of The Working Artist, online business program for visual artists of all media. Visit www.theworkingartist.com/free-updates to join her mailing list and you’ll also receive a free gift.

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  1. EA Hay

    20 July

    Nicely stated, thank you. I have missed those conversations with myself. We shall meet again, and soon.

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