I did not do my art today

Dorothée King
10 min readSep 18, 2022

Today I would like to give you a few thoughts that hopefully will inspire us all to see our “outcomes” in a more relaxed way and to get into an artistic-creative-mediating activity that feels right. That we don’t do because just, or because we have a certain function now, or because we have to talk ourselves into it, or because we want to post something on Instagram again, but because we just want to live well.

photo by the author’s daughter

I’m inspired by Australian Madeleine Dore, who wrote a great book about the productivity craze called, “I didn’t do the thing today.” (Madeleine Dore: I didn’t do the thing today, Murdoch Books Australia, Crows Nest, 2022.) Still, I will be more specific about the motivation for creating artistic and design processes.

How do we get from “I didn’t do my art today” to “I did do my art today”? It’s about motivation, lurching, creative doing and creative not doing.

Today I would like to give you a few thoughts that hopefully will inspire us all to see our “outcomes” in a more relaxed way and to get into an artistic-creative-mediating activity that feels right. That we don’t do “just because”, or because of our job title, or because we have to talk ourselves into it, or because we want to post something on Instagram, but because we just want to live well.

1.Forget self-discipline, forget perfectionism.

Disciplining the self is completely absurd. Discipline comes from the Latin disciplina “teaching, discipline, school”. How can you play school with yourself? Have you ever resolved to do the same? Starting today, I will draw a picture every day. Starting tomorrow, I will draw in my sketchbook every day. From now on I will go to an exhibition every week. Such plans can only fail. Especially when art, which is otherwise beloved, feels like just another item on the to-do list.

The only thing that often comes out of such endeavors is that we evaluate ourselves, feeling more overwhelmed and inadequate than before.

Dorothée King

author, educator, artist, designer, meditation teacher, consultant / http://www.dorotheeking.com