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  • Writer's pictureDavid Brett

Want to jumpstart your creativity in the New Year? Keep doing the same thing

Every new year starts with good intentions — a resolution to do this, that, or the other.

And this need to ring in the new at the same time as we collectively show the old the door, and perhaps give it a little shove on the way out for good measure, serves some (particularly in the world of commerce) well.

It's a good time to join a gym (if you own a gym) or lose weight (if you have a diet book out) or spruce up your wardrobe (take a trip to the sales).

But, if you're like me, and the many others who've walked this particular road before, you will know that the lustre of that first week in January rarely lasts beyond, well, the first week in January.

'Stop running after the waves. Let the sea come to you'
Elif Shafak

And, as the New Year's Eve fireworks fizzle out, I've been puzzling over this Gregorian haphazardness and how it might apply to my creative process.

While I could make a number of commitments to change something in my artistic life, a more assertive argument is that I should do nothing at all. Or at least, rather than advocating indolence, I should stay the course of my present path.

Making news: a detail from one of the mixed-media paintings in my latest collection

I have written earlier in this blog about a project that I'm working on. It is named Stop Press and features newspaper cuttings collaged into my abstract landscape paintings. The collection reprocesses the 27 years that I spent as a journalist in the London Evening Standard newsroom.

Furthermore, these pieces will form a solo month-long exhibition in the gallery attached to the development where I have my studio. It kicks off in February and, as it stands, the work remains to be finished.

So, to shoot off in a new and bold direction simply because December has become January may not be the best plan.

Settling on a course brings with it a commitment that I believe enhances creative opportunities. The more the focus, the greater the knowledge.

At least when the inevitable frustrations with the work occur, I can console myself with that thought. Indeed, refusing to make changes until I decide the time is right is my New Year resolution.

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