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Here I go again! Coming out of hibernation all guns blazing. Such a long winter of discontent and disconnect from my creative spirit. January is a rubbish time to start new year's resolutions. I leave those for when the seeds start to shoot.

I have been pondering how much we achieve by tick list. I am reading 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear - and reflecting on how task oriented we are as a society. How we pat ourselves on the back for how much we can fit into each day. Whilst I get that a routine can give structure to your ambitions, I am so tired of doing too much,

There's a definite backlash to wanting more, being more, constantly striving. This winter I was inspired by 'The Nap Ministry', Trisha Hersey's call to rest as a political act. I was bone tired from a string of personal challenges that were rearing their head as physical symptoms of stress. Sometimes doing nothing is the best place to re-claim yourself.

There's a story told in 'Art and Fear' (David Bayles and Ted Orland) of the ceramics tutor who sets one group to attain quality - producing one perfect pot in a semester. The other group are set quantity as their goal. It's a tale I have told before and still appeals. The best marks went to those who churned out pots, learning as they went from their mistakes and in the end producing work of worth. It has resonated with me as I start a ceramics class and realise what it is to be a student again, and to be open to making mistakes.

I believe in the churn, the turning up at the blank page to create but I also believe in day dreaming, napping and spending time in nature just being. If you can do all those somewhere new and under sunny skies then all the better!

Don't confuse productivity with creativity. Yes, a good work ethic can open doors for more good ideas but it can also lead to tick-box creativity. Creativity doesn't come with a box. It needs air and space and play. It is an ethereal, magical, enigmatic force. It's not a product of modern capitalist productivity. It needs you to get off the treadmill, get away from the norm and dance with yourself and your whims. There is no space for 'I should....', but plenty of scope for 'I could.....'.

Bend the rules, Draw outside the lines.....grow bold.

My online sketchbook development courses give you techniques to learn from and tasks to try but always with you in control. Learn at your own pace with forever access to classes. Take your own path, nurture your creative soul, find flow beyond creative block and grow into a more confident and expressive artist.

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