My 10 Rules for Making Art

Every artist should write down their own rules for making art. Writing rules down (just like writing anything down) gives weight, purpose, meaning and a sense we know what were doing (even if we don’t, which may be most of the time). Because with art, it can sometimes be said that there are no rules, but unconsciously we adhere to certain ones because boundaries and limits actually give us freedom.

Here are 10 rules I’ve come up with (that are all notes to self):

  1. Write. When you write you gain clarity. The best art comes from a clear mind.
  2. Make every day.
  3. Make from truth.
  4. Overthinking kills creativity: Just start making something.
  5. Give ideas a chance even if its a ten minute sketch. Those ideas will often lead you to new ideas you wouldn’t have dreamed of.
  6. Share only what you feel compelled to share, even if its a thought of a piece you made.
  7. Empathize with your audience, but don’t let them dictate what you make. That includes (most importantly) the people in your head. See #3
  8. Don’t get discouraged by people not liking, commenting on, engaging with or even hating your work. Keep making and you will get better. Keep putting your work in more places and the right audience will find you.
  9. When you feel stifled by your medium, engage with other mediums. Make a bad song. Act out a monologue. Dance. Plate your dinner. Use kids art supplies. Make something from nature. Pretend you are in a film…(the possibilities are endless)
  10. When in doubt, write.