Lists! Normally the dining table (which doubles as my office) is awash in lists.
But her post reminded me that I had sort of fallen off the list wagon, and that I had better climb back on if I wanted to accomplish anything. So I sat down and made a list of stuff that had to be done—grinding, boring, distasteful chores like balancing my checkbook—and it had to be done soon, or my world would would sputter and stall like a 1967 Volkswagon fastback in a rainstorm.
And I actually finished the most pressing things on that list. And, as is often the case, after I disposed of those boulder-like tasks that weigh so heavily, I suddenly had a spurt of creative energy. Now I have three half-finished drawings and ideas for a dozen more. It’s funny how undone business like an out-of-balance checkbook can block my creativity.
Actually, right now I’ve got another type of list that’s working well: a list of things the artist must do. At the Portrait Society of America, on their archives page there is a good piece in pdf form called From Rookie to Pro by Michele Rushworth. It’s evidently notes from a lecture, each item a bullet point, and it’s very good advice. It helps me maintain my discipline and determination. A copy of the list now lives on my refrigerator where I read it every morning and evening.