We’re in the middle of Summer, and many artists are struggling to find time for their art. Vacations, visitors, or just the pull of a beautiful day can distract you from the structure that holds an art practice together.
Your own working schedule may be quite specific or fairly loose, but most creative people need some structure in order to be productive. Since you don’t get organized by going to a “regular” job every day, artists have to create their own container.
But what happens when the demands of your life overwhelm your best intentions? Experienced artists know that the creative process has its own rhythms. They don’t panic when they veer off course, for whatever reason. But when you’re just starting out, you don’t quite trust yourself and can go into a downward spiral when you stop making art.
Don’t judge yourself harshly if you need to take off a week or two. Keep in mind that you might still be working on your art even when you’re not in the studio. Your mind keeps going, and sometimes you find new ideas or solve creative dilemmas when you’re “not working.”
Don’t try to be perfect. Holding yourself to an absolute standard of productivity doesn’t usually work for creative people. Instead, when you know the demands of your life might interfere with your regular schedule, plan ahead. Preserve a few minutes every day to imagine what you’ll work on when time allows. Sketch out an idea or make notes in a journal. Keep your intentions alive in your mind.
The secret, of course, is to just begin again. A few breaks can even renew your spirit. Remember, you’re going to be an artist for a long time.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.