Lyric’s Lyricisms: the discipline of play

May 2, 2013

The following is an excerpt from April’s Lyric’s Lyricisms Newsletter. If you like what you see you can subscribe via the link on the top right of this blog. The newsletter also includes a list of entry dates for shows that accept art quilts.


The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.
~William Arthur Ward~

It’s spring here – sort of. The daffodils are almost done blooming but the temperatures haven’t warmed up enough for the farmers in the area to put seeds in the ground. They are a full two weeks behind schedule. I seem to run that way most of the time – a full two weeks behind schedule when it comes to the artwork I want to make for myself. If there is a deadline involved however, I manage to get things done, even if I do run it up to the very last minute. I need to learn some discipline. I want to be able to get things done for myself with no deadline at all.

This month I am going to try out a time honored method known by mothers everywhere – the star chart. I’l give myself a star for each 15 minutes of productive studio time and figure out a reward at the end of each week. Because I know how crazy my calendar is, 15 minutes is a realistic and achievable daily goal.

What achievable daily goal will help you gain the discipline your art most needs?

Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.
~Abraham Maslow~

Even with discipline involved, I’ll start each studio session with play time. A doodled sketch, some random piecework, little compositional studies. Even when all you have is 15  minutes it is vitally important to play. Taking a few minutes to set parameters and explore an idea can open up some very wonderful creative pathways in your brain. Athletes know that a warm-up gets your body ready for a peak performance, waking and warming up muscles that have been at rest, getting them ready for the work ahead. A warm up for your creative muscles will help you reach a peak performance with your artwork.

What is your favorite creative warm up?


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