This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Not so long ago, I needed to prepare a canvas. I got out the roll of linen, scissors, and other supplies. As I was laying things out, I glanced over at a painting on my easel that was partially done. This painting had a few areas that were frustrating me. Analyzing it for a few minutes got a few ideas brewing in my mind. This reminded me of an image I had seen in one of my art books. So I got it off my shelf to see how that artist handled a similar problem. I began looking through the book, page by page, getting inspired and excited – and distracted by other, unrelated images. A casual glance at the essay in the book distracted me even more. Soon, I was lost into philosophizing about art. I went to grab a water bottle (or maybe a soda) and sat down on my chair to read. But as I went to sit down, I saw the canvas roll on the floor, with the other supplies strewn about. Somewhere in that ordeal, I think I even started thumbing through a few photos and plein air studies – getting ideas for yet another painting.
I had not gotten much done that morning.
Recently, a friend of mine (Jake Gaedtke) and I were visiting at his studio. I was impressed with how he compartmentalizes different aspects of his art. He has his studio – where he focuses on creating. In a separate building, adjacent to his garage, is his workshop where he prepares canvases, frames his art, and does packing and shipping. In his home, he has his office to take care of all the business side of things. Each is separated, yet only a few yards (meters for those who prefer metric), apart.
What a great idea, I thought.
Jake went on to share some things he learned about Walt Disney. Disney’s animation studio was divided into Creator, Realist, and Critic. Each is essential to the creative process. But they must each be separated to enable full attention to the task at hand, without the distraction of the others. Brilliant!
As I went back to my studio, I realized that I don’t compartmentalize the different aspects of my art very well. I do have my computer and office at home (I rent a space for my studio), but it was out of necessity rather than intentionally separating the two. But aside from that, my creating space is mingled with my workshop where I prepare canvas, do framing, shipping, etc. I need to create a division so that I can do better at staying focused – especially while creating.
How do you compartmentalize your art – or do you?