I recently went to an art reception that featured several artists. One artist used the same size paper and only a pencil and straight edge to produce a multitude of line drawings. They all had common elements, but also unique aspects that made for beautiful groupings.

As the artist was explaining his work to us, he said that he makes “rules” for himself. For example, he declared for one piece of work that he would only use one-inch lines and that he would create 300 without intersecting. For another piece, he decided to use 50 two-inch lines that did intersect. 

These are arbitrary restrictions, of course, but it introduces an element of discipline that keeps his mind sharp and work interesting. These self-imposed parameters can help keep you focused, and can also provide motivation regarding where to start. 

What rules can you create for yourself, either for today or for longer term? A blog about the first object I see? Responding to ten emails before lunch? Reading 50 pages every day? Writing someone a letter every day during Lent? 

You may think that focus restricts creativity and motivation, but I believe just the opposite. Make yourself a rule for today and then Begin!

— beth triplett

Thanks to Matt for the inspiration!

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