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How Do You Fit Creative Time Into Your Life?

by Christine Marx on 12/16/2016 10:11:59 AM

This post is by guest author, Christine Marx.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community.  If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 48,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites.  This author's views are entirely her own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

It's hard to believe 2016 is about to be a wrap. Two more weeks and then a brand new year....wow, where did 2016 go?? It's been a busy, wonderful year full of mostly ups and I can't complain. One daughter got married, and the one who has been married for two years is going to have our first grandchild in March. I feel so grateful for the year that has passed, as well as pure joy and excitement for the upcoming year.  I have so much inspiration built up inside me from the past year that I hope I can carryover into 2017.

 

There are so many things I want to paint that inspire me, and it feels like not enough time, ever, to do it. I am sure you can all relate. How do I squeeze more creative time into my week? Not the paintings that are on my list to take to the galleries but time to experiment and really explore new painting methods, new products, different surfaces. Sometimes life gets in the way. The problem with working as an artist is I can't apply all of the wonderful tips I read about in my stack of "getting organized" books that I peruse for tips on squeezing more production out of a too short day. Creativity, for me, involves blocks of uninterrupted hours and they have been hard to come by lately. A theme in so many of the books I read is to just start something on your list...give it five minutes, set a timer. If you don't finish it come back to it the next day until it's done. That's fine and dandy for cleaning out a junk drawer, or my closet with no visible floor. Not so handy for painting or drawing.

 

So what I have done, when times are so busy that I can barely keep up with regular work hours and gallery work is try to incorporate a little art into my day when I'm stuck somewhere other than my home or studio. A visit to the doctor, with the usual minimum 30 minute wait in the waiting room, is a great time to work on perspective...all of those chairs lined up against walls and magazines strewn about at different angles. I have a small drawing pad that I keep in my car with a little bag of pencils. It fits in my purse and is a great way to make the 30 minutes fly by. I also have a small iPad that has some art painting programs on it that are fun, and I will sometimes take that with me to doodle on. The same goes for when I am waiting for my daughter in the parking lot at school and I have 10 minutes to draw my coffee cup while sitting in the car. I know it's not much time, but when you can't get 4 hours in a row to really get into it it's a great way to have mini-sessions. I think of it like doing scales on the piano. I don't know if it's helping my art, but it sure does make the time fly by.

 

One must be careful with what they choose for these mini sessions. One time when I was flying across the country I took some pastel pencils and a pad of paper with me to experiment with them on the plane. What a mess!! The sun was shining in the my window and I could see the dust going everywhere. The person sitting next to me started coughing and staring me down so I put them away and twiddled my thumbs for the next four hours. Live and learn. Knitting is a far less invasive creative project to take on a plane. 

 

I would love to hear ideas from my fellow artists on how you fit creative time into your work schedules. Because as much as I love painting, really sometimes it is just work. I know you know what I mean. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

 

Happy painting Everyone!

 

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You can view Christine's original post here.

 


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Editor's Note:

A great place to see artists laying it all on the line and baring their artistic souls is FASO's BoldBrush Painting Competition. Awe inspiring works and amazing talent will surely inspire you to dig deeper and create that masterpiece that speaks to your collectorsRemember, all FASO members get a FREE entry every month! To sign up for a free, no obligation 60 day trial, click here.




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Related Posts:

What We Learned In Taos About Protecting Creative Time

Making Time for Painting

The Importance of A Preliminary Color Sketch

The Imortance Of A Plan

What To Do When The Workshop's Over, Part 2: The Art of Self Critique


Topics: advice for artists | art appreciation | creativity | FineArtViews | Guest Posts | inspiration 

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 13 Comments

Luann M. Udell
via faso.com
Christine, great article! You inspired a blog post. :^)

My favorite way to maximize time OUT of the studio is to keep track of what I want to/have to do next, on any given project. (I write. It's what I do!) :^)

So that 30 minutes in the waiting room becomes a chance to figure out the rest of my day, or week. The four-hour flight may be time to figure out how to solve the problem that's blocking my next project, say, coming up with an exhibition proposal: What do I need to know? How would I make that display widget? Who would know that? Who could I ask?

But the most important thing I can do is figure out MY NEXT ACTION STEP. If it involves gathering all the supplies I'll need, or checking to see how my mat stash is holding up, or do I have enough frames on hand for that next body of work, that is all stuff I can do when I'm not actually at the studio. (I have two work spaces, so it can get tricky!)

That way, when I'm ready to actually do the creative work, I have everything I need to get to work.

Luann M. Udell
via faso.com
Rats, I messed up my url! This one should work, in a roundabout way. :^)

Nancy
via faso.com
Thank you for this! I was starting to think I was the only one that was unable to carve out that 3 hour timeslot that I should. My passion is drawing and I can attest to your time crunch as well. To come up with new illustrations and ideas for my greeting cards takes time. However I do exactly as you do, as I'm waiting for a doctor's appt. or when my husband gets his haircut. :) I carry a journal that I use as a sketch pad. Drawing anything and everything. Listening to someone's conversation while drawing is very inspirational and can lead to a new card idea. Just as long as I keep drawing and "fonting" everyday in those in between times, I feel like I'm keeping my brain in the zone. So when it I do get that creative time, I'm halfway there without even trying.

Susan L. Vignola
via faso.com
Christine,

Great article. I can so totally relate to the challenges, obstacles, and solutions. Learning to utilize those smaller bits of time effectively while still serving your ultimate goal, is key.

Susan

Sarkis Antikajian
via faso.com
Christine, I can see your point of having limited time to do artwork or keep in touch with the process of making art. I sketch in watercolor and sometimes incorporate other drawing media almost daily and spend no more than 5 to 10 minutes on these sketches. It is most rewarding and most enjoyable. If you would like to see many of these sketches visit my website www.sarkisantikajian.com and subscribe to my monthly newsletter. In the January 2017 newsletter that I will send on January 1, 2017, I will have an extensive article on how I do this, along with many such sketches done in watercolor and or in combination with other drawing media, taking no more than 5 to 10 minutes maximum for each sketch and with effortless setup or cleanup.


Mark Brockman
via faso.com
With all due respect, one way to find more time is to stop reading the books on finding more time :D. All those books, articles and videos that are self help mostly just help those that created the self help book, article or video and take time away from art.

When I worked a full time regular job and raised two kids I carved out time and stuck to it. Now my time is mine; I get up in the morning, have a couple cups of coffee and breakfast with my wife and go to the studio or outside to work. I keep a regular work day and week (except when I can sneak in some studio time on weekends). Studio time is everything and anything art business related. Yes things need to be scheduled like doc. appointments, grocery shopping, etc. but those are planned. Since my mind is almost mostly always thinking about art, if there is down time, I'm thinking about art.

I'm not trying to be smart here, but it's about setting a schedule and sticking to it. if someone doesn't have the time they are not taking the time. You need to prioritize. I had a student who complained about not having time to paint at home. We talked, I told her she could make time by giving up something else, like her golf, bridge and other activities she participated in. There is only so much time in one's day and life. We choose what and how much time we give it.

Walter Paul Bebirian
via faso.com
I guess it all comes down to what your priorities are -

you do not have to do everything all at once - but in the long run if you keep at your work you will have quite a collection to be proud of -

Marilyn Rose
via faso.com
Sitting in the waiting room, switch to a set of Tombow pens, shades of gray. Fun to capture quick sketches of people before they see you drawing them. And Mark is right, a routine, stick to it as often as possible: for me, journal and meditate first, then paint, THEN look at emails. THEN do everything else.

Christine Marx
via faso.com
Thank you for all the great comments! Luanne, great ideas about keeping up with non-creative (and also never-ending) aspects of an art business.

Sarkis, I am just becoming familiar with those cute little portable watercolor sets. They are fantastic!

Mark, you are right about making more time by not reading those books! I agree with you on a set schedule, which I have. I was referring more to those weeks when I feel like all I am doing is painting to fill the holes in the walls at a gallery. Sometimes I would like to paint without the express purpose of selling, but more in an exploratory way for growth as an artist. Frequently, the responsibility of the business side takes priority over the time to just be creative, which is so important for growth. Does that make sense? I am not trying to sound too new-ageish. Lol.

Marilyn, best advice ever about checking those emails and having computer time AFTER painting! Sometimes the computer is like a time-sucking magnet.

Thanks, again, for all the great feedback!

Mark Brockman
via faso.com
Christine, what said about personal growth makes sense. We all approuch the art making differently, years ago I was at a crossroads, try to make art (paintings) that sells (a talent I have none of, knowing what people want) or paint what I want and need to paint, if they sell great, if not, they don't. My way of course is not for everyone, but it works for me.

A great post by the way, and great work too.

C. Wilson
via faso.com
As a newbie (1 year sketching and painting), I too have trouble finding time to do what I want to do. A few times I scheduled every Wednesday as my sketching and painting day, cause on Thursday my watercolor class met and I always did a catch up the day before. Now over the holidays, I have read books, downloaded a few courses, and dream of putting it all together. My brother-in-law move in with us so there goes my peace and quiet time...with two old men driving me cray. I carry a sketch pad in my car with a pencil and eraser. I draw simple things cause I do not have good sketching skills. I practice and practice and also work on my shading. After the holidays, I plan on putting a small table in the extra bedroom and a note for the door - ARTIST in SCHOOL-DO NOT DISTURB! Art classes start the first week and I am very excited to get back to something that brings me so much joy. I love learning everything I can, it is a whole new world for me....

Linda Thatcher
via faso.com
My art teacher gifted me with a Koi Water Colors "Pocket Field Sketch Box" by Sakura before I took a trip abroad--has made all the difference in the world: It has a self-contained water brush and pallets that ingeniously slip inside. All is waterproof and have had no leaks.
So I carry the watercolor box, my Sakura Pigma Micron .05 fine tip pen and a small sketch pad (Co-Mo 6X6in/80# Bee Paper.com or Strathmore's Field Watercolor watercolor pad 140and60# paper,10x7"). Everything fits into a $10 zippered makeup case from TJ Maxx, so it's doubly waterproof.
I do pen and ink sketches (living dangerously w/out the pencil!)and then "color" everything with the watercolors. Everything's available at Michael's, Craft Warehouse, Blick's and probably Amazon.
I've used it in hotel lobbies and patios, doctor's offices, the SSA/DMV ofc's, airport, and many cool places I hesitate to mention because it would sound like I'm bragging about my travels. As soon as I open the Travel Set, I am "home." And all I need to do is make sure the waterpen is full--water from all over the world in that little pen! I've also thrown my pencils in there and included a pencil sharpener, but have never used them except to lend them to a fellow artist once :) Hope this helps!

Dolores
via faso.com
I carry my art to work, it works for me since I work in small format and my medium is ink watercolor and colored pencils. When we take break, I paint, sketch or ink. If I'm not doing that I carry a sketch book or a notebook to jot down what I need to do online, ideas etc. I've pretty much learned to make my studio where ever.










 

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