There are two ways I need to remind myself to be free:
Be free to experiment
Be free to explore.
A big, blank canvas is a reminder of the first point. It is a symbol of possibility and it is a challenge to fill the space in any way I want. It is a challenge to be less careful and use a lot of paint, something that is tough when you are on a budget. Once I start, I remind myself to be immediate with the materials, use less hesitation and more intuition. I learn much more this way and get results that feel true to myself.
I also make a conscious effort to allow myself to explore.
It is easy to feel the need to log in as many hours in my studio as possible but that thought is also restricting. Discipline is important but so is freedom. So I allow myself to take a step back freely. I leave my studio and try to push away the feeling of not working enough or "being productive". I have realized my work is a culmination of the experiences I have. Landscapes and architecture of an unfamiliar city, new music and the clothing of concert goers, food and murals and every other thing that comes with exploring is fuel for my paintings.