Whether you are a professional artist or a hobby artist you have to find time to make art. Some tell me they wait to be inspired but I have found that to be entirely impractical. It is often the act of beginning something that gets me inspired and if I didn’t deliberately get to work it would not happen. To make it possible to begin, time has to be set aside. Since most art making is a solitary pursuit, one needs to isolate oneself, unless of course you are in a class setting. Some say they have to be in a class or workshop to get any creative work done because then they are obligated. The common denominator is a schedule. By making a schedule for yourself you will be certain to have time and maybe even feel obligated if that is a necessary motivator.
List - If you live with others you will want to include them or at least consider your obligations to them in your schedule making process. Start by listing the activities that you want to make regular time for and how often you want to do them per week. If you are working with a partner, compare those lists and agree to the frequency and times of day shared activities could happen for you both. Then list your necessary obligations and chores and include the predictable ones in your schedule, dividing them if you are working with a partner. List the less frequent but still common intrusions on time that will alter your schedule. It might be helpful to designate a particular time slot for appointments too so that you don’t let those things dissect your art time.
Make the schedule - Use seven sheets M-T-W-Th-F-S-Sn with hours marked from the time you get up through your active awake time. First block out time for paid work or other pre-scheduled obligations. Consider, in the time slots left, what periods are most conducive to your art-making. Then insert art, other prioritized activities and chores. Sometimes it is sobering to see how time gets so quickly whittled away! However, this concrete exercise affords a way to save time for making art and/or anything else that is important to you. It also lets you see how you are spending your time now and perhaps choose to eliminate activities that you feel are wasting your time. After making and adhering to a new schedule I have less time for TV and don’t miss it.
Now stick to your schedule. Each evening look over your schedule for the next day so that you can wake up knowing you have made a commitment to yourself as well as the others in your life. Obviously you may need to refine your schedule as you go along and discover what is working and what isn’t.
Some people resist schedules as a rule because they don’t like rigidity. For you I say the exercise would be worthwhile even if you’re certain you wouldn’t stick to the schedule you make. Life is limited for all of us and choosing to spend a little of that time considering ways to prioritize, with special attention to what feeds and inspires us or keeps our lives and perhaps those of our family in balance, is a worthy exercise.
If you try this let me know how it is working for you.
Add comment February 8th, 2009