Monday, October 15, 2012

Reality Check

Okay, confession time....Balancing family responsibilities and creating art is hard. Ever since we got back from vacation in August, I've been in a funk and I am having difficulty getting out of it. I don't talk about the tough times much because I don't want to be negative on this blog. In reality though we all go through rough patches and we all have to pull ourselves out. The thing that tends to get to me the most is making/finding time for art. I admit to pangs of envy sometimes while looking at other artists' blogs. I see the work they are creating and all I can think is "why can't I do this? Why can't I make ar as much as this person does?". Well, the time has come to pull myself out of "woe is me" thinking and get into "how can I do art?" thinking.


So, I've put on my analytical hat and I've tried to assess my situation and figure out what is holding me back.

I can't beat myself up over things I can't control. Things that come up in family life like my kids getting sick or my getting hit with a migraine are things that have to be dealt with. Art has to go on the back burner. Letting myself get frustrated is a waste of energy.

My kids want to color in my sketchbook. I admit I sometimes freak out about this but I really need to look at it differently. My sketchbook is not my final project, it's where I practice and mess around. If the kids want to do that too then, I just have to let them. I'll have their artwork in there forever right? That's awesome if I think of it that way.

My creative time doesn't always have to result into a sellable piece of art. This is a big one. I want to get an online shop going so, I feel like every painting has to be one I want to sell. If I keep putting that kind of pressure on myself I'm in trouble. I need to just create. Take time to practice and experiment. Just have fun and whatever happens, happens.

Doing "anything" creative counts. I sometimes feel bad when I don't get studio time or sketching time on a given day. Doing any creative activity should count as art time. My kids and I painted pumpkins yesterday and I did zero art for myself, but that's okay. I still created.

Get my discipline and organization on. I'm not incredibly disciplined. I have to ramp this part of me up. If I want to create every day I just have to do it! I also need to write out goals for the day/week/month. Find a system that works for me. I used to have schedules, deadlines and required tasks back when I worked full time in the bookstore biz. They were given to me by upper management. I'm upper management now and I need to give those things to myself.

Just carry a sketchbook around already! I'm inconsistent with this one. Part of the reason was listed above; my kids. Well, if I let go my control a little, getting snippets of time to sketch or do art should happen.

Use my resources when I'm stuck. I have a ton of art books/magazines in addition to bookmarked e-courses that should inspire me whenever I don't know what to do when I have studio time.

I think I've done a pretty good job being objective and coming up with ways to deal with my road blocks. The most important things to remember are; I'm not perfect. Don't beat myself up. Just keep trying.

Some art journal and sketchbook work I managed to accomplish. These are practice pieces inspired by Juliette Crane's How to Create Whimsical Animals e-course. If you've always wanted to create fun animals I highly recommend this course!