Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The I'lljust Syndrome

Artist Success Feature Article

Crisis Affects Women Artists

There is a crisis affecting women artists today. It eats into their studio time and artistic output or, more to the point, it creates a lack of output. Evidence of this crisis is based not only on observation but on surveys and through conversations and is reaching alarming and epidemic proportions. Yet it goes unrecognized on a daily basis.
Up until now, most women artists cite a lack of time as their reason for not creating the art they want to make. Based on my findings, I have discovered another, more insidious reason for their behavior. It’s not that there is a lack of time, but there is something eating away at their time.
So what is it?


I’lljust Syndrome
Simply put, women artists (and, truly, women in all walks of life) are letting the I’lljust syndrome get in their way of getting into the studio.
Signs and symptoms appear immediately before sitting down to make art and may include any or all of the following:
  • I’ll just throw in a load of laundry
  • I’ll just rinse those dishes
  • I’ll just call Mom
  • I’ll just check my email
  • I’ll just tidy Annie’s room
  • I’ll just get the grocery shopping out of the way
  • I’ll just clip my toenails
  • I’ll just post on Facebook
  • I’ll just put away...
  • I’ll just relax a bit
  • I’ll just go get...
  • I’ll just clean up...
  • I’ll just straighten up...
  • I’ll just...
  • I’ll just...
  • I’ll just...
Before you know it, the whole day has been I’ll justed away. And it is not a 24 hour virus, Chances are it will linger on indefinitely unless she takes immediate action NOW. There IS a cure!

Treatment & Prognosis

A 10-Step Program
As with any condition, the prognosis is determined by how consistently the patient applies and continues treatment. Not only that, but she must believe that she has the power to gain and maintain control of her physical, mental and artistic well-being.
Presented below are the 10 steps necessary to overcome I’lljust Syndrome:
  1. Recognize you have a problem.
  2. Acquire a calendar, planner or scheduling system
  3. Group like activities together. ie: Laundry & housework on Monday; errands Tuesday AM; social media 7-7:30; etc. etc.
  4. Schedule no-excuses studio time on a regular basis
  5. Show up and remain at the appointed studio time whether you feel like it or not
  6. Pass by or delay all I’lljusts until their appointed time
  7. Maintain a notepad on your studio table to write down all distracting I’lljust thoughts while working
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 consistently until improvement is evident.
  9. Remind yourself daily that you are in control of your artistic future.
  10. To ensure excellent physical, mental and artistic health, make this treatment a part of your wellness plan.
Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit