The below article, first posted in the Fine Art Views Daily Newsletter, rang true with me and so I requested permission to share it with you.

Time and time again I, as an artist and friend, hear similar statements from others whom I believe have an incredible talent to change the world.

NOTE: While reading, please substitute “art” for any passion or career-direction that suits you – photography, knitting, medicine, business…

Make Your Art a Priority
by Keith Bond
I enjoy swimming laps 2 to 3 times a week. When I first started, I was frustratingly slow and I needed many rests. It was almost embarrassing to have swimmers twice my age lap me over and over. Yet, I had made goals and over time I improved. I reached several milestones and would then set my sights on new goals. I won’t be winning any swim competitions any time soon, but I look back on where I started and I see tremendous improvement.This past week, however, I have had a cold. Prior to my cold, I had a few conflicts which prevented me from swimming. So this morning was my first time swimming laps in a couple of weeks. I noticed a marked difference in my performance. I could not swim as far nor as quickly as I had just two weeks ago. Granted, I may still not be totally recovered from my bout with the little virus, but it is also true that when you stop exercising for a period of time, you lose ground. The longer the absence, the more is lost.

The same holds true with art.

Neglecting Your Art Results in Lost Ability

Perhaps you have devoted years to your art. Maybe it’s been only a few months. Don’t risk losing the progress you have made by neglecting your art for a period of time. You must continue to work at your art or you will lose it bit by bit. This is true of both the technical skills and creativity. You must work on both constantly, just like exercise.

Have a Productive Routine

Also, just like with physical exercise, the rate of improvement will depend upon your routine. Do you spend adequate time? Do you practice specific exercises to work on certain areas which need improvement? Do you have somewhere to do it? Is the set-up hindering your ability? Are you giving it your all? Do you push yourself? Or do you just dabble here and there once in a while?

Even When You Don’t Want To

Some mornings I didn’t want to swim because I wasn’t up to it or I didn’t feel like it. But when I made myself do it, I found that I got into it within a short time. Even if I didn’t get all the way into it, I felt better afterwords and it helped me maintain what I had worked so hard for.

Likewise, you may have those days when you just can’t find your muse or you just aren’t in the mood. But if you just make yourself do something, you will find that you will usually get into it and your creative juices will begin to flow. At least do something related to your art.

Conquer Your Excuses

There are many, many reasons why we put off doing things. Why do you neglect your art? What prevents you from getting into your studio? Identify what obstacles you have and then set up a plan to conquer them. If art is truly a priority in your life, you owe it to yourself to let it take its rightful place. Don’t use excuses. Conquer them. Rearrange your life to make art a more prominent part of it.

Make Time

If you truly want to make progress with your art; if you truly want to improve; you must set aside time to work on it. You must make those times productive. We could all use more time. But consider everything you do in the day. EVERYTHING. I’ll bet you could find things that occupy your time that aren’t as important to you as art. Some tasks you cannot remove from your to-do list right now. But many can be removed. Artist Scott Christensen wrote:

Don’t use [time] as an excuse! I really advanced as a painter when I was “distracted” by another job! I taught in a public school and coached two sports. Athletics took up most of my time on weekends and my family was very important to me, but I painted.

I want to take away your excuse by giving you one simple truth: we all have the same amount of time at our disposal. How we use that time is very important! (Note: I cut this quote out of a magazine several years ago. I wish I knew which magazine, so I could give proper credit. I want to say that it was International Artist, but I may be wrong.)

“Yes,” you say, “but my situation is different…” STOP! That is another excuse! Don’t use excuses. If art is truly important to you, you will find the time.

If everything else on your list is more important, then focus on them, not art. Either way, don’t use excuses! Yes, I am being blunt. Sometimes we need a kick in the behind. Sometimes we need to hear it like it is. Do you want to improve in your art? Do you want to maintain what you have worked years to achieve? Then make your art a priority.


This article originally appeared at the following URL:
This article is reproduced with permission.
Copyright 2009 – Keith BondLearn More about Keith Bond at:

Keith Bond’s Blog:
NOTE ABOUT IMAGES: The above images are process shots from paintings I am currently working on.
Painting EVERY DAY continues to be my vow – I have missed a couple days in the last couple years, but I do my very best. I’ll be honored to show you these paintings (the second two are commissions) when they are complete – and probably somewhere in between!

See more motherhood-themed paintings in the online portfolio!

Have an inspired night – now GO DO WHAT YOU LOVE! Or make dinner, whichever comes first 🙂

Love & Sincerely,