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Adam Ming Illustrator


Children's Illustrator Writes at Substack.com/Adamming

A quick illustration for the newsletter.

This was the one where I talk about having a project as a default, and showing up.

1. Have a project

Here’s the rule of thumb always have a project.

As a tactic to follow this rule, choose the morning pages or some other general project as a default project. Whenever you find yourself without a project, you can default to your morning pages. Spending time there will birth new projects that you can then choose to move your attention to.

Building a creative practice requires learning.

The most effective learning is called ‘Just-in-time’ learning. This means you don’t have to learn a bunch of skills ‘Just in case’ you might need them. Just the skills you need to complete your current project.
Simply put, without a project, you’re unlikely to learn any practical skills.

2. Show Up

The first thing your project will teach you is that if you show up your project will get done.

The pages will get written, a drawing will emerge, slowly, surely. Showing up means being fully present in your project without a care in the world, just for the duration that you decide to show up for. This ability to ignore the world and focus on your thing is an important one.

And every time you fall short or fail to show up. There is a lesson in there too.

There are things you need to deal with, things that are stopping you from giving yourself some slice of your day for your project.

It could be internal things to work through.

The pages can really help with that.
Write about where you are, where you want to be, and some next steps in the general direction.

It could be physical things.

Lighting, Get better lighting.
Hunger, buy some protein bars.
Noise, find a quiet place.
Time, start with smaller increments, a smaller project. Write a sentence a day, instead of 3 pages.

It feels like showing up to your project is a lonely pursuit with all its
struggles, but it’s not, all of us have similar struggles. I heard from my running coach today the struggle is not failure, it’s succeeding in not giving up.

Maybe you’re starting out, or maybe you’re stuck and need to get going again, here’s how:

1. Have a project
2. Show up

If you liked this you might enjoy my substack, search for me there!

What would a picturebook about a zebra be about?
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