The importance of breaking routine



Routine is fabulous. There are plenty of recommendations out there about getting a routine and sticking to it to create productivity and get yourself moving. And I agree with them, particularly those talking about babies or children and routine. But at the same time, routine can be an inspiration killer.

The beauty of routine is that it can often be done mindlessly. We make hundreds of decisions daily – can you imagine if we had to thoroughly think through every decision we make every day? Ooh, should I go home via that street or that street? Hmm, which stove cooking element should I use? Should I do the dishes at six o’clock or plan it for a late one at seven? We do most of these things on automatic. We’ve made the decision in the past, worked out the most efficient way of doing things and stuck to it. We don’t think about these kinds of decisions because we want to put our energy towards the more important kinds, like whether to build a pergola, date that guy/girl or take that holiday.

The problem is we can become mindless in our routines and miss things that could be beneficial to that routine. Like taking Same Street home from work time and time again because you know that Alternative Street has that intersection that gums up with traffic and slows you down. But unbeknownst to the routine, that intersection has been upgraded in the meantime and now is actually a faster route home by about ten minutes. If you don’t break the routine and take a different route, you will never know.

The same effect occurs in art practice. I’m not talking about major changes here, let’s face it, at this point I’m not switching from acrylics to oils, for example, the learning curve would be massive. I’m talking about small manageable changes that can open you up to ideas you may not have encountered before.

Here are some quick ways to upset routine and get your artwork moving in a different direction.

  • Location changes – instead of arting inside the house, go outside if the weather permits. Or pick up your pencils and take them with you and draw in a completely different location – in a cafe, on the beach or at the local park. Location changes can be great fun (I am so enjoying my location change at this very moment – I can hear the seagulls outside ๐Ÿ˜€ )
  • Art challenges – these often have restrictions that force you to change. Colour limitations, media changes, time restrictions, little changes can open you up to big inspiration.
  • Change your entertainment – if you have been reading the same kinds of books, watching the same kinds of movies, switch out and try something completely different. You may not like it, but what you are exposed to can affect you emotionally which in turn will affect your art – this is where you question whether to watch the news at night, for example, it could be subconsciously depressing you.
  • Explore other artists – this is one that can be two sided and you need to be able to NOT put yourself down. Let’s face it, there will always be someone more technically capable than you, but there is no one but you who can create your art. Keep that in mind when looking at other people’s art – you will never be able to create their art, because it is their art, but you can create yours and there is always room for another artist on this planet. The upside of exposing yourself to other people’s art is inspiration is contagious. Other artists have to be inspired to make their creations, so by looking at their art you can often catch it too ๐Ÿ˜€ Other artists come at subjects from their own angles and often that can inspire different ideas for you too. Never plagarise, EVER, but grab that inspiration and create your own original works.
  • Everyday life changes – take that holiday, take that different route home from work, eat in the bedroom, eat on the beach, sit in a different spot on the couch, eat dinner at midnight, go to bed early, go to bed late, sleep in the backyard – a little change can change the experience…

Because it is often all about the experience, the emotion, the mood that you are in, that helps you make your art.

And hey, it is a good idea outside of your art practice too. Little changes can freshen up everything.

Ultimately we go back to a routine, we have to, let’s be realistic here, life and money function on routine, but sticking your head up out of the water from time to time can benefit that routine and open up your mind to new possibilities.

And if you didn’t work it out from the above spiel, I’m currently sitting on a beach thoroughly breaking my routine too ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ve been doing a little jewellery, basically mucking around with my beads.

Gemduo earrings
Gemduo earrings

And doing a lot of photography – there are even videos that might be uploaded once I have a decent internet connection ๐Ÿ˜€ But here are a few choice posers, for example.

Little rock crab – possibly Paragrapsus quadridentatus, but I know little ๐Ÿ˜€


Pacific gull
Pacific gull


Seabirds – possibly Red Stints, but I haven’t positively identified them yet.


And, of course, the ultimate poser, the Australian Pelican ๐Ÿ˜€

Australian pelican
Australian pelican

And here is a hint of the weather we’ve been experiencing.

Troubridge Island
Troubridge Island

So lots of stock photography for future art projects ๐Ÿ˜€

It is Monday today, so I thought I would visit a new blog hop – after all, change is as good as a holiday ๐Ÿ˜€ So this is my first post submission to Inspire Me Monday, a little late, but it is still Monday ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope to meet a few new inspiring people over there, so why don’t you join me and make a few changes, get inspired.

Best wishes,
(with stripy sunburnt feet, ow)


One response to “The importance of breaking routine”

  1. It is hard I find, to be creative, when you are stressed, so to get away from the usual routine and stress of daily life, works wonders for creativity. Some lovely seaside photos… wish I was on holidays… (not long now until Christmas break)