Giving Up


By the time I finally had the undisturbed space I needed, 35 minutes had already gone by, and only 7 brush strokes were added to the canvas…

And that’s when I realized: Just Give Up.

I started something new the other day. As an artist I’m always trying to learn more about the craft, and improve my skills. Whatever it is that you are into, sometimes it just takes a little bit of time before you really find a motivation to do something truly beneficial for yourself.

For me, I’ve found that other people have some good advice to give, and I’ve heard some good advice about motivation, and techniques to start being more proactive in my art. My girlfriend suggested that I set aside just 10 minutes a day to do a sketch or a doodle, everyday. And most recently, I heard from another artist his ritual of starting every morning with a 20-30 minute sketch; and I thought, “Brilliant!” That is exactly how and where I will find the time to do those tedious tasks of getting out a quick sketch.

It only makes sense, and here’s why…

It is self motivating.
By placing the time to sketch before anything else, I put a time-limit on my work. I can’t succumb to the pitfalls of lingering on one piece for too long, which is apt-to-do when I feel like I have “more time” to work.

It is a good excuse.
I can take the time to make mistakes and learn line, color, and so forth without a huge criticism of the quality, because it is just an exercise, and it is done in only a short amount of time; and it is just for me to experiment. So not only do I not worry about the judgment of my work from myself, or from others, but I can say, “well, that’s thirty minutes; as far as I got is as far as I got,” And now I have a “completed” (exercise) piece that I can post and show-off…

Or return to later so that it doesn’t completely suck, and turn it into an actually completed piece.

Anthony Pismarov (the artist who shared his exercise technique) said that by placing this time before any of the day’s other tasks and obligations, it is assured that you won’t get distracted, and immediately fall into, the morning routine, and inevitably, create excuses for why now you don’t have enough time to do “that thing” that you wanted to do.

…Now…for the good part.

I didn’t have much success on my first attempt – as is evident. I started on a Tuesday, and I awoke with the motivation to push mountains, with intentions as pure as seraphim; it was the first day. It is a long story of how many distractions there were, between the innocuous, but incessant dryer, tumbling in the next room over, and my brother, stomping around the kitchen where I was trying to work. The disruption of changing location and the driver of my pen tablet on the fritz…

By the time I finally had the undisturbed space I needed, 35 minutes had already gone by, and only 7 brush strokes were added to the canvas…


And that’s when I realized: Just Give Up.

That, right there, is the answer – Just Give Up – because we all know how uncertain and how tedious starting a new challenge can be. My effort to make sure that I was up and readily motivated to take on this task… and all for what? Just to come to pits with forces that actively try to deter me? To face the demons of distraction that try to dissuade me from continuing on, thinking that my will to conquer this challenge will be broken? These are forces that I nor anyone else, can evade, but will undoubtedly confront every person on their path toward something great. I don’t know why it happens, but it does; whether the universe is just testing you to see your resilience, or Satan himself is just trying to crush you under the weight of his foot, there will be resistance.

So, give up; it was the best decision I made that day….I mean, what else are you going to do? Just sit there like an @$$hole and take it – the unavoidable pressures to break your spirit – No! You give up. If you don’t like the way the game is being played, then you grab your ball, and you go home.

Because, the message of this topic isn’t to give up for good – quite the contrary. What I’m talking about is Good Decision Making. For me, I know that today sucked, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be tomorrow. Today, doesn’t mean that I won’t try again, and again, and again if need be. Because today, I can walk away with my time intact, and my head held high, knowing that, I gave up, of my own volition; I didn’t sit around and continue to be subject to the abuse. I didn’t waste my time looking for redemption over the next hour. And in the end, I get the last laugh. Because I’m not broken, and I can keep a level head, and realize that today just wasn’t the day; but tomorrow will be.

Today, was a lesson. The forces that work against me don’t have as much will-power as I do. Whereas I intend to go on, they will eventually submit, and I can go about my business as usual.

So don’t be afraid to give up, or to quit, so long as it doesn’t mark the end of your legacy.

“Tomorrow is another day. It’s not just any day, but it is a day; it will get here. I guarantee it.” – Reggie Watts

2 thoughts on “Giving Up

  1. I don’t believe in giving up but this is a nice twist. You’re not giving up but you know how and when to make smart decisions.

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