The Creative Practice

Do you create everyday? Or at least most days? I do. Mostly cause I don’t sit still very well (my hands just have to be making something!) and also because it’s a healthy practice for an artist. Any and all artists. Writers, actors, musicians… this is for you too. I speak in terms of fine art (because that’s me!) but it applies to all the arts. Just insert your craft and medium here__________!

I draw 6 out of 7 days (yes, I have sketchbooks galore!…which is wonderful because this is where I draw inspiration for art work and pattern design). And I also crochet or hand sew most days too. I work on art and business by day and doodle and crochet by night!

The Sketchbooks of Rachel Fontenot

The Sketchbooks of Rachel Fontenot

Daily Crochet ~ Rachel Fontenot

Daily Crochet ~ Rachel Fontenot

Drawing or doodling as a daily practice is crucial to the survival of the fine artist. It’s like a pianist playing scales or a dancer’s warm up routine. The pianist is warming the fingers and tuning the ears… the dancer is warming the muscles and body. And if that dancer doesn’t warm up first, they will never be able to move freely and perform their best.

The same goes for the fine artist. When we draw and doodle freely (and by freely I mean you leave the inner critic outside the studio), it’s warming the mind, eyes and hands so that you may move freely into the work at hand. Drawing daily keeps the artist in the creative flow. It’s like wading in the river of creativity, you are there in the deep of it. Writer’s, you must write daily and wade in the river of words. Actors, you must act, you must move, you must practice inflection and facial expressions.

Practice, practice, practice your craft… daily.

doodle a day ~ Rachel Fontenot

doodle a day ~ Rachel Fontenot

But what about when you get stuck or hit a creative block? Well, doodle, write, pair those notes together anyways. And it also helps to turn to a different creative medium. Like crochet or sewing, reading or listening to music different than your norm. Visit a gallery or art museum (art museums are my favorite activity next to time spent outdoors!). Peruse magazines at your local book shop. Watch a movie. Go to a play. Take a walk outside and take in the ultimate color palettes and shapes ever created.

And I guaranty, you will be unstuck in no time! The solution will come to you when you least expect it. It always does. It’s just the order of things!

Beautiful Lantana found on a walk in my neighborhood ~ Rachel Fontenot

Beautiful Lantana found on a walk in my neighborhood ~ Rachel Fontenot

Here is a favorite quote of mine by artist Chuck Close:

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
~ Chuck Close

So what is he saying here? Work. Show up and work. Draw, doodle, write, compose, dance, CREATE… and create everyday. Your craft must be in tune and always ready for creating. But if it’s not a daily practice it will rust and be stuck and hard to move. Don’t let that happen.

So what do you do? What is your creative practice? How do you stay in tune? If you don’t have a practice yet, I encourage you to start one today! It’s never to late.

Happy Daily Creative Practice!

Rachel xoxo

About Rachel Crawford

Hi y'all! I'm Rachel Crawford, an artist, poet and surface designer who is passionate about color and pattern, poetry, the great outdoors and art history. I also love to crochet and knit, and free hand embroider. All of which you will find on this blog! My artwork and patterns are happy, peaceful and full of color as are all the things my happy hands find to create. I'm a native of the colorful and eclectic city of New Orleans where I currently live with my wonderful hubby of 25+ years marriage. Welcome!
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6 Responses to The Creative Practice

  1. brad young's art says:

    Dear Rachel,
    I just purchased the gold colored Flexi-Sketch sketchbook myself and was wondering what works best in them. I’m typically a pen and ink sketcher with colored pencils, but do I dare use any watercolor?
    Thank you very much,

    • Hi Brad,

      You will love the Flexi-Sketch sketchbooks! Pen, ink and colored pencils are perfect! I use all kinds of pens and they never bleed through (though I have not used sharpies or Prismacolor markers, so I cannot tell you what they would do). My favorite pen is the Faber Castell Pitt Pens… they are fabulous and come in different nibs and lots of colors. As far as watercolors and watercolor pencil use in the sketchbooks, they work very well, but it will roll the edges of the paper ever so slightly.

      I generally draw on all sides of the paper and I have never had problems with bleed through. The paper is a nice weight.

      I just checked out your work and it’s wonderful! I love it! The Flexi-Sketch books are perfect for you and your work. I do a doodle a day in them each year since they have 300 pages!

      Happy doodles!


  2. jshewett says:

    Reblogged this on Going Beyond The Canvas and commented:
    Here are some more amazing and inspiring words from Rachel Fontenot! Sorry I’ve been lax in posting, I’ve been WORKING!! I will be posting pictures at some point in the next day or two.

  3. As a creative writing student we are encouraged to write every day which I try to do through my blog if nothing else although I have to admit, there are days when I just can’t squeeze it in! We are also encouraged to read a short story every day. I don’t think I can recall a single day in the last few months when I haven’t been doing something creative! I loved your post, it is such an interesting idea!

    • Hi Hannah!

      I love hearing that you write on your blog AND read a short story everyday! What wonderful creative practices! And how wonderful that you are implementing these good things young in your career. Don’t ever stop them!

      Happy writing and reading!

      • Oh I wouldn’t dream of it, I’m sure my lecturer is psychic and would know if I wasn’t doing as she said! I love reading the short stories though, it isn’t a form I had explored much before but I absolutely love it!

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