So you want to be the best lettering artist in the world, but you have a little problem. You don't take the time to get better.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is
Why do you procrastinate with practice?
Is it because deep down you don't want to?
Are scared of the results or lack thereof?
Or is it because you are simply occupied with too many things at the time?
Understanding the problem is the first step to fixing it. Pay attention to your daily routine, and what causes you to do other things instead of practicing your art.
What you do instead?
Do you watch TV for hours?
Spend time with friends?
Focus on other projects?
Surf Instagram for inspiration?
Give it time if you're too busy
If you have too many things going on right now, whether that is family, work or other hobbies and projects, I say give it time. Don't stress yourself and end up doing all these things poorly. Wait till you finish one thing, and then pick up lettering practice.
There is no need to be stressing yourself out.
But, if laziness or procrastination are stopping you, I've got a few tricks you can try to practice more often.
8 ways to help you practice
1. Set an alarm for the time when you most procrastinate at night or morning.
If you tend to hit the couch after dinner or early morning and "there go three hours binge-watching Netflix" set a timer for yourself. Let's say 8 pm is when you have the hardest time getting motivated or you simply forget and do something not important. Set the timer for 7:30, reminding you to start thinking creatively. Then at 8:00 to start practicing.
Here's what worked for me. I started doing the Miracle Morning routine, and one of the time slots I designed was for quick lettering practice. I had about 15 minutes every morning to practice. I would sit at the kitchen counter and just letter things.
After a few weeks, I saw major improvement.
2. Setup tools the day before so all you have to do it letter.
One thing that worked super well for me during my time with Miracle Mornings was that I had everything set up the night before. So when the time came to practice all I had to do was sit, pick up a brush and start lettering. I didn't have to waste 10 minutes running around the house looking for tools or paper.
3. Scatter tools around the house for quick bursts of lettering.
Maybe you have a busy life, especially if you have kids running around the house all day. Scatter tools in different rooms. Put some pens and paper in the kitchen for quick practice when you're waiting for dinner to cook. Or on the coffee table if you like watching tv. Doing drills is a great couch activity. I take my iPad in the bathroom while my kids are in the tub. They play and I do a little art.
4. Hang inspiration around your house.
What or who inspires you? Don't confuse this with that person you stalk on Instagram because you love everything they do and you wish to be them and think of ways to beat them?
Think of the artists, people, books, art, nature that inspire you to do your lettering or art.
Surround yourself with it, hang a piece of art that inspires you or a quote near your work area.
I suggest placing it in the bedroom if you wish to get inspired in the morning. Let it be one of the first things you see in the morning, it will light a spark that you can carry around with you all day.
5. Ask others to help you stay motivated.
Find that cheerleader in your life and ask him/her to help you. Maybe they can text you a couple times a week to check in, or leave encouraging comments on your FB post of your latest practice piece. We all need someone to push us a little, or at least take notice and be excited about it.
Whatever you need them to do, ask, and maybe they'll be up for it.
6. Sign up for a class or challenge.
Participate in a challenge or class, seeing other students and participants post their daily lettering may be enough inspiration to get you doing it as well.
7. Spend money
If you are quite attached to your money, spending it might be a good kick in the butt to get your hands on a brush every day. You wouldn't want it to go to waste, right?
On the other hand, if you are a spender, don't spend more money if you know you will never follow through with the class.
8. Treat yourself to a new tool once in a while.
Like spending money, treating yourself to a new tool can be a good kick in the butt, especially if it's something fancy and expensive. But it can also just be something not too expensive, but enough to bring you joy and get you motivated.
I always feel more giddy about getting to do lettering or painting if I get myself a new watercolor set or a new brush pen or even just a new paper pad.
Find what works for you, try out a few things from the list and see how you react to it. And just remember, if you don't practice you won't get any better.