Setting Yourself up for Success - Bridging

Happy New Year 2008! Did you make some goals for the new year? Set some intentions? Whether you’ve decided to paint every day or once a week or try something creative like write a book– I’d like to share a studio habit that I use regularly to supports me in taking small steps and staying in creative process.

The trick is called bridging and can be used to get you back into the flow of your project after you’ve been away from it. In essence bridging is a word for having everything you need ready to go to get started on your project. The idea is that you are forming a bridge from the last time you worked on this project to now – when you intend to get started again. The bridge is making it easier for you to get started and continue working. Instead of forging through the river to get to the other side – finding all your supplies, setting up, figuring out what you need – you’ve already got it ready to go. You just walk over your “bridge” and start working.

It helps if you can have a designated place in your home permanently set up for your project.

In this photo (below) everything I need to start painting is set up and ready to go for the current Pure Abstraction series of paintings I'm working on this year. Brushes, water, soak sponge, palette, water spritzer, paints, gloss medium, paper towels, and the painting in process are all on my worktable ready for me to start work.

Sometimes, as well as the having the supplies I need set up for my next step, I also leave a note next to my painting reminding me where I want to go with the piece. The note might say something like “next layer with gloss medium, use titanium white and cobalt teal. Think about iridescent pigments.” As part of creating lasting success it’s important to give yourself small rewards to train your brain to keep doing this new habit that will support you in achieving your goal.’

So, if you’ve gone ahead and set up your project and done your bridging, go ahead and do something nice for yourself to celebrate. Later this week I’m going to share with you some ways I celebrate when I start a new habit and why it’s so important to recognize our progress.

Here’s to your creative success in 2008! Much love, Deb

P.S. As of today there are 18 spaces left for Lana Grow’s March 2008 workshop. Full details for the Energizing and Experimental Mixed Media abstract painting workshop, follow the link.