Recently, my schedule has changed, making it harder to find time to work in my studio. This change has made me realize that utilizing the time I do have for art is important. I don’t know about everyone else, but for me, adapting to change is hard. I like my routine and get used to doing things a certain way. I focus on one task and then the next because it gets complicated to jungle too many things. From this I have found certain ways that allow making art easier. These tips, and tools keep me on track and inspired to do the things I love.
Firstly, lists are my best friend and I recommend that everyone tries them. The act of writing something down and writing in general is a great way to stay centered. If you make a list the possibility of forgetting something diminishes. I write lists for groceries, chores, and my artistic ideas. The list actually keeps me excited about future projects. I know that as soon as one is finished I can consult my list and start another.
My list at the moment includes new abstract painting ideas, teaching myself calligraphy, working on still-lives and landscapes paintings. I make lists like this so I don’t lose a great idea. I usually keep a journal with me at all times because If I don’t write it down immediately then that moment of inspiration gets lost in the chaos of the day. Always carry a journal. It can be a sketchbook, composition notebook, lined paper or not, but keep something to write in.
If you have a journal it makes it easier to utilize those small moments in the day to sketch, draw or journal. At lunch I doodle or find something in my surroundings to draw. Most days I only have 5 minutes, but at least I get to use that free moment to do something that is rewarding for me.
I love the mornings and that is the time I feel most productive, but most of my morning is utilized to get ready for work. I give myself at least 30 minutes to read art articles online or magazines. Recently, I just finished Austin Kleon’s book, Show Your Work, and am now reading How to Write about Contemporary Art, by Gilda Williams. Starting the morning of this way keeps me motivated to make art and help others make art.
I work with kids all summer, helping them create and finish art projects for an art camp. I get a lot of ideas from the kids and projects. No matter what we do in class I try and give it whirl. I am flabbergasted sometimes at what the children can come up with, but while they work and I work. I have learned that what I do at work can be turned into future projects, and I can take inspiration from the children. Some people don’t have jobs that center them around art, but the lesson here is to look for how your job can be an inspiration for your work.
Today, I was outside watching the clouds go by, just enjoying the day. I started to see different things in the clouds. I thought one looked like a prancing pig with fabulous hair, and another looked like a dragon with a little head. Guess what I did? I of course made a list of the fun images I saw, and know I have ideas for fun sketches. Inspiration can come from anywhere you just have look for it.
You can even set a timer for 30 minutes at the end of your day to draw, paint, or sculpt. I like to make sure I get at least a hour of painting done before I go to bed, but sometimes I have other things to accomplish. 30 minutes is a great compromise, and I keep making progress on my current work. Just remember to keep doing the things you love because there is always time for it. Don’t feel afraid to ask for other opinions or help. I am a huge fan of sharing things on Instagram or Facebook. My friends have given me great feedback, and advice.
My current work relied on a combination of these methods to get started. I hope these are helpful to you and your artistic endeavors.
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