10 Healthy Morning Habits for Artists

10 Healthy Morning Habits for Artists

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Hello! My name is Liz Staley and I’m a long-time user of Clip Studio Paint (I started using the program back when it was known as Manga Studio 4!). I was a beta-tester on the Manga Studio 5 program and for Clip Studio Paint, and I have written three books and several video courses about the program. Many of you probably know my name from those books, in fact. I write weekly posts on Graphixly.com and on CSP Tips, so be sure to come back every week to learn more Clip Studio Tips and Tricks from me!

Whether you’re a self-employed artist, an art student, or just want to get into a routine of creating art on the regular, a healthy routine can be very handy to keeping yourself healthy, happy, and productive. Whether you implement an entire multi-step routine or just take a few ideas from here and incorporate them right before you sit down at your desk, here are 10 healthy habits for artists!

Get Enough Sleep

Of course this is going to make the list! We’ve all heard by now about how important sleep is. Sleep not only supports healthy brain function but also helps maintain your physical health. Getting inadequate sleep over a period of time can even increase your risk of chronic health problems! 

The amount of sleep you need varies not only by your age but also by individual person. Some adults need as little as 6 hours of sleep, while some may need as many as 10 hours. To figure out how much sleep you need, you can keep a notebook by your bed and record when you go to sleep, how you felt when you laid down, whether you woke up often, what woke you up, and if you woke up feeling groggy or well rested. Do this for several days until you have enough information to find patterns. Then try to have a consistent sleep and wake up time each day if possible.

Take Care of Your Body

Sitting all day is actually really harmful to your body, and you kinda need your body in order to create art! Not all of us can afford one of those fancy standing desks to do art at, so if you have to sit most of the day you should spend some time moving your body during the day as well. Whether you take a 15 minute walk, do yoga, go to the gym, ride a bike, or whatever else, getting your body moving will help with not only your physical but also your mental health. You don’t even need to spend any money here, because there’s tons of free workout and yoga videos on sites like YouTube and most of them require no special equipment! 


Start the Day Off Right

In our modern society it is so easy to start the day off by grabbing our phones and immediately seeing bad news and negativity. Lots of articles suggest not having a phone or tablet in your bedroom at all, or at least not grabbing one as soon as you wake up, but I think this is pretty unrealistic. My phone is my alarm clock in the morning, so I need it in the room with me or it’s pretty useless! So, instead of opening your eyes and immediately getting on to social media or looking at the news, do something positive instead. Turn on a song you love and dance around as you get ready, or listen to a motivational video! Whatever you do is up to you, just make sure it’s something that will make you smile and will start your day off on a positive note. 

Set Goals the Night Before

When I have a ton of stuff to get done, it can really keep me awake at night because I’m so worried I’ll forget something important! In times like this, it can be helpful to take time the night before to make a to-do list or schedule. That way you know what you have to get done, and if you’re anything like me you’ll also sleep better too! 

Know When You’re Most Productive

You always hear about “morning routines” but what if you’re not a morning person? I feel like the most important thing is to know WHEN you are most productive and work your routine around that. For instance, I know a lot of people who are productive at night, but I’m definitely a morning person. It’s easier for me to do creative things in the morning and do things like record keeping in the afternoon. So that’s how I try to structure my day! If you’re a night-owl, start your “pre-creativity routine” in the evening so you can take advantage of when your creative juices are flowing!

Fuel Your Body

Sometimes I get so into what I’m doing that I forget everything else in the world, including that I need to eat and drink! Remember to take time to hydrate and fuel your body with good food. Remember, you can’t create if your brain isn’t working because of hunger!

Set Goals to Track Your Progress

Setting goals is important whether you just want to improve your craft or you’re trying to make art your full-time living. Write down a list of a few goals you want to achieve and post them near your workspace, then remember to look at them daily and check in on your progress. Remember that goals should be specific, measurable, and time sensitive. For instance “Get better at drawing hands” is not measurable. A better goal would be “Draw 10 hand sketches from reference every day for the next month.”

Do Warm Ups Before Working

Warming up your hands, wrists, and arms is actually really important before a drawing session! You can read all about it, as well as some exercises to get you started, in this article from me: https://tips.clip-studio.com/en-us/articles/7540

Keep a Journal

I’m not necessarily meaning an “art journal” (a journal where you do art on each page), but if that’s what you want to create then go for it! But I feel like somewhere to write down your thoughts, inspirations, goals, and accomplishments is a really good thing to have! It doesn’t have to be fancy - just a notebook where you can do “braindumps” is great. You can even incorporate a journal with a sketchbook if you want to keep everything in one book! 

I really like Bullet Journaling because it’s like a journal, sketchbook, and planner all in one and because it’s very flexible!

Do Your Largest Task First

Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Do your biggest task or the one that will be the hardest first to get it out of the way. This way, you get the highest value task out of the way first. I also find that if I’m not dreading one task on my to-do list then everything on the list becomes easier to do, but if I’m dreading something then I won’t get anything done! For instance, if I have to make phone calls (a task that I hate!) I will get them done as soon as possible so they are off the list and off my mind too! 

Eating the frog also allows you to focus on one task and get it finished, making you feel accomplished and also cutting through procrastination! 


Remember that it’s important to create a routine that works for your process and your creative flow. Hopefully you can use a few of these ideas to start crafting or to add to your routine so that you can be a healthier, happier, and more productive artist!

For more information on CLIP Studio Paint, please visit https://www.clipstudio.net/en or https://graphixly.com