Thursday, November 5, 2009

Creating and the Day Job

When I got home from work yesterday evening, I found the new Anthropology catalog in my mail box. Quickly I put everything away, changed into warm lounge clothes, boiled hot water for some tea and finally, HAPPILY, sat down to devour those beautiful pages of great clothes and furniture, accessories and styling that makes me want to cry because it's so DANG creative and interesting. I save these catalogs because they are works of art. I'm overwhelmed with inspiration and wanting to try my hand at making these things and growing in new directions as an artist. I want to run upstairs to my studio and work the night away - not sleeping - just painting! making! creating! But I close the catalog because I have things to do - paper work for my day job, laundry because I wear clothes, food to prepare because I'm hungry, working out because I'm getting fat, returning e-mails, wiping up cat puke, painting the second coat of paint in the hall... So much to do and yet I'm rarely doing the thing that makes my heart beat and sing - create. WATERCOLOR!

Even this morning, as I'm writing this I feel the pressure of the day's duty's on me already. I'm constantly at work in my head trying to figure out how to manage life's requirements and my passion. To have only days filled with art stuck in a studio is not what I want either. The outside provides so much energy and inspiration. So how to do it? Here is my list that I'm working on.

1. Get to bed at a decent hour - so you can wake up earlier. I'm a morning person so my best work and creative energy comes at this time. I like to write, paint and plan my day during these morning hours.
2. Make a to do list and get the days' priorities done first. DO IT. If you don't do everything - fine, put it on the next day. Eventually you will get it done.
3. Plan exercise - not so much for looks but for a mental and spiritual uplift - afternoons are best for me because I tend to drag and this is a good boost.
4. Don't forsake your friends for art. There's nothing worse you can do than to isolate yourself. You need people. At least once a week meet a friend for lunch or tea.
5. Plan creating time - so far I've not been good at this. But this needs to happen. I plan everything else, but not this and maybe because I think this time needs to be spontaneous. That needs to change!!!
6. Finally don't try to make it all yourself. As a creative person I see so many things that I feel I can make myself. I can do a lot of things but when I spread my creative self too thin I become a master of nothing and a jack of mediocre crafts. Find out what you want to really be exceptional at - one or two areas - and dive in. Don't try to make all the curtains in your house when you could use that time painting magnificent paintings. This is where I fail the most. I think I'm saving money - but really I'm just increasing my frustration with my life. So I really need to think through certain projects and be reasonable and honest with what I really can manage.

This is a huge reminder to me and I hope this helps others too. Life is so beautiful and short and it really pains me to think that beautiful art, stories, crafts and ideas are just never going to be completed and given to the world by the working artists because we have to fold the towels and unload the dishwasher. NO!!!!!

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