I decided in September that instead of doing an Inktober like everyone else, I would do a Noctober which involved not painting or drawing anything. I needed a break and I knew it. But what did I really need a break from? Was it the pressure to create? Was it lack of ideas? Well as you can see I failed miserably at trying to stop myself from painting. Turns out taking the pressure off helped me tremendously. I am always thinking too much and trying to come up with the best possible series. There is a lot of pressure to paint everyday because that is what I think is expected of me. I do see people who may or may not have busier lives than me succeed at this “painting or drawing a day” thing. Though I think it is great to be productive, I also think breaks are healthy.
This is what happened when I took a break from art. At first, I did pretty well. By Day 5, looking at a banana on the counter gave me the desire to paint its colour and shape. My day 6, I thought I am going to try drawing in ball point pen. So I made a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich and drew in my sketchbook. My mind was on the sandwich idea that has been successfully done so many times before. I thought this is okay that it has been done before. This is what I like to paint.
I watch kids after-school and my friend Leah who does the same, brought chalk so I drew a dragon for the kids to add too. I thought to myself, “This is cheating but I don’t care!” I was teaching art and painting apples with the kids. That was it! I couldn’t take it anymore! The next day I quit my Noctober! I painted a peanut butter sandwich and the following day a sliced apple. My advice is paint or take a break just be sure to do what you want!